Fire Burning

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"Fire Burning"
Single by Sean Kingston
from the album Tomorrow
Released April 24, 2009
Format digital download
CD single
Genre Electropop, dance-pop
Length 4:03
Label Epic, Geffen, Koch
Writer(s) Kisean Anderson, Bilal Hajji, RedOne
Producer(s) RedOne
Sean Kingston singles chronology
"Ghetto Girl"
"Fire Burning"
"Face Drop"
Audio sample
file info · help

"Fire Burning" is an electropop song by reggae musician Sean Kingston. It is released as the lead single from his second studio album Tomorrow. The song displays a little more synthdance sound than his previous recordings, with influences of dance-pop. Unlike many of his previous singles, which are all produced by J.R. Rotem, the song is produced by RedOne. The song was used for the opening number of the Miss Universe 2009 live at the Atlantis Paradise Island, Nassau, Bahamas.


"Fire Burning" is an electropop song with a modern dance beat written by Robin Wang. The song's instrumentation consists of a heavy synthesizers and a variety of percussive sounds. The song is set in common time with a moderate tempo of 120 beats per minute and is written in the key of D flat major.[1] It begins with an energetic clarion call to the dance floor followed by modern dance beat.[1]


Kingston had released the song on his MySpace webpage to promote his song. The song was released to radio stations and for digital download April 24, 2009. To date the song has been played more than 13 million times on his MySpace page.[2] As of July 22, 2012, the song has sold over 3 million downloads.[3] Sean Kingston performed the song for the first time live at the Teen Choice Awards 2009.

In popular culture[edit]



  • 90210 also featured the song in the fourth episode of season three entitled "The Bachelors".

Music video[edit]

The music video premiered on MTV on June 15, 2009. Rick Ross makes a cameo appearance in the video along with fellow island singer Iyaz. The video was directed by Gil Green. The video also shows Kingston's Audi R8 in the video.


  • "Fire Burning" (Remix) (featuring Pitbull)
  • "Fire Burning" (Remix) (featuring Adrian Banton & Pitbull)
  • "Fire Burning" (Jody den Broeder Remix)
  • "Fire Burning" (Jody den Broeder Radio Edit)
  • "Fire Burning" (Dave Audé Club Mix)
  • "Fire Burning" (Dave Audé Radio Mix)
  • 103.5 KTU replaced the opening "Shorty fire burning" in the opening, to "KTU is burning".

Critical reception[edit]

Michael Menachem of Billboard reviewed the song as "the most danceable single yet" and commented on the fast tempo and Kingston's well-projected vocal "that allows producer RedOne to blend the infectious hook with heavy synthesizers and a variety of percussive sounds that made Lady Gaga's "Poker Face" so striking". He also comments that "the chorus is repetitive, it sounds just like 'Unstoppable' by Kat Deluna, but this song is often what makes for a sizzling club hit".[4] Alex Fletcher of Digital Spy said that 'Fire Burning' has all the makings of a classic summer anthem with its swathes of GaGa-esque synths, infectious chorus hook and fuzzy bassline but he wasn't in favor of Kingston's reggae-tinged vocals.[5]

Bill Lamb of comments on the song's fuzzed up bass lines, potent vocals, and a clear call to head to the dance floor, saying that it stands a good chance of making this a summer smash and demonstrate RedOne's success with Lady Gaga is no fluke.[6] Lamb also calls the pros of the song a Clarion call to the dance floor, Sean Kingston's energetic vocals, and fuzzed up bass tracks while the cons are the standard synth dance sound.[6] He also has this to say:

Every summer needs a big dance smash, and it's quite possible that in 2009 it will be Sean Kingston's "Fire Burning." With confident pop-dance production from RedOne, the man behind Lady Gaga's smash hits, Sean Kingston has moved beyond the cuteness of "Beautiful Girls" and reliance on sampling past pop and rock hits, which sounds similar to Kat Deluna's Unstoppable. A bit copycat. There is not a lot of lyrical depth here, but not much is needed to get pop fans to the floor in the summer.

RedOne has mastered the difficult craft of putting together songs that sound great on the radio, through headphones, and booming at a party. There is plenty of room for remixing for the club, but an unadulterated "Fire Burning" would do well on its own. Sean Kingston's Jamaican accent is still strongly present, but his vocals do have a new confidence and clarity that rise powerfully above the mix.

Many fans and critics saw Sean Kingston's rise as little more than a novelty, but "Fire Burning" is a strong statement for sticking around. Due to his unique voice, there is no mistaking this is a Sean Kingston record. However, this is a move forward and no hint of sameness with his first album. "Somebody call 911!"[6]

Formats and track listings[edit]

Digital download
  1. "Fire Burning" (Album version) (Kisean Anderson, Bilal Hajji, RedOne) – 4:03
CD-Single (Germany)
  1. "Fire Burning" – 4:00
  2. "War" – 2:59


"Fire Burning" debuted at #29 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it Kingston's highest debut on the chart. Since then it has entered the top ten peaking at #5. It also peaked at number two on the Canadian Hot 100 for eight consecutive weeks.It became a #1 Record in South Africa and holding off strong competition from Lady Gaga's "LoveGame". Prior to this "Fire Burning" was ranked 36th on South Africa's Year-End-Chart.

Chart (2009) Peak
Australian ARIA Singles Chart[7] 48
Austrian Singles Chart 54
Belgian Singles Chart (Flanders)[8] 29
Canadian Hot 100 2
Eurochart Hot 100 Singles 28
Finnish Singles Chart[9] 13
German Singles Chart 56
Irish Singles Chart 12
Japan Hot 100 9
New Zealand Singles Chart[10] 36
Romanian Singles Chart[11] 46
South African Singles Chart 1
Swedish Singles Chart 29
Swiss Singles Chart[12] 50
Turkey Top 20 Chart[13] 2
UK Singles Chart 12
UK R&B Singles Chart 6
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 5
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs 8
U.S. Billboard Hot Latin Tracks 43
U.S. Billboard Pop Songs[14] 7

Year-end charts[edit]

Charts (2009) Position
Canadian Hot 100 6[15]
Hungarian Singles Chart[16] 25
UK Singles Chart[17] 96
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 33[18]
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play[19] 34


External links[edit]