Sean Michael Leonard Anderson was born on March 25, 1988 in Santa Monica, California to Myra and James Anderson. When he was 3 months old, he moved to Detroit, Michigan, where he was raised by his mother, a school teacher, and grandmother. He attended the Detroit Waldorf School and graduated from Cass Technical High School with a 3.7 GPA. Big Sean is often heard saying "west side" in his songs; he is referring to the west side of his hometown Detroit, Michigan. In his later years in high school, Sean gained a valuable relationship with Detroit hip-hop station WHTD; he would show his rhyming skills on a weekly basis as part of a rap battle contest held by the station. In 2005, Kanye West was doing a radio interview at 102.7 FM. Hearing about this, Sean headed over to the station to meet West and perform some freestyle. Initially West was reluctant to hear him, however he gave Sean 16 bars to rap for him. According to Big Sean, West enjoyed his freestyle: "As we get to the entrance of the radio station ... we stopped in the middle of the doorway. He starts looking at me and bobbing his head,". After the freestyle, Sean left West his demo tape. Two years later, West signed Big Sean to GOOD Music.
An unauthorized leak of his collaboration with Drake, called "Made" made its way onto the internet on April 30, 2010. In an interview with TheHipHopUpdate.com on May 1, Big Sean expressed his disappointment over the leak, calling it an unfinished version both musically and lyrically. Big Sean's official Facebook page confirmed that his debut album Finally Famous & Consequence's Cons TV would be released on September 14, 2010. On August 31, Big Sean tweeted that the album was not coming out on that day, but it would be coming out sometime in 2011.
2011–12: Finally Famous and mainstream success
In an interview on Conspiracy Worldwide Radio, Sean discussed the role Kanye West and No I.D. have had in the development of his first studio album's sonic direction as well as the challenges of being inside the studio with West. The album's lead single, "My Last", features vocals from Chris Brown and was produced by No I.D. According to Amazon.com, Big Sean's Finally Famous was delayed by a week, with a tentative release date set for June 28. Big Sean has revealed the cover art for his G.O.O.D. Music debut and explained that the one-week pushback was to be blamed on sample and feature clearance issues. The official tracklist was revealed on June 7.
In September 2011, Big Sean confirmed in an interview with the Daily Tribune that he'll be working on his second album during the I Am Finally Famous Tour and plans to release the album sometime in 2012. On October 19, 2011, Kanye West announced on his Twitter plans for a Spring 2012 GOOD Music album release. On April 6, 2012, "Mercy", the lead single from the GOOD Music compilation album, Cruel Summer, was released. The song, produced by newly signed in-house producer Lifted, features Big Sean along with Kanye West, Pusha T and southern rapper 2 Chainz. Big Sean then announced his fourth mixtape would be titled "Detroit" and would serve as a lead-in to his second studio album. He then began promoting the mixtape, releasing short versions of the songs on his YouTube page.
2012–present: Hall of Fame and Dark Sky Paradise
A month prior to the release of Hall of Fame, Big Sean told Complex that he had already begun work on his third album due to the inspiration from his new relationship. On September 12, 2014 Big Sean announced that he had signed with Roc Nation. Later that same day he released four new songs titled, "I Don't Fuck with You", "Paradise", "4th Quarter" and "Jit/Juke". Producers for these songs include, Mike Will Made It, DJ Mustard, Kanye West, DJ Dahi, Nate Fox, Da Internz, L&F, and Key Wane. "I Don't Fuck with You" was released to iTunes on September 19, 2014. In an interview with Sway Calloway, Sean confirmed that Lil Wayne will be featured on the album.
On January 25, 2015 various artists who worked on Big Sean's upcoming third studio album such as Kanye West, Ty Dolla Sign, DJ Mustard, Drake, Travis Scott and Ariana Grande posted the album cover to Twitter or Instagram. The next day, Big Sean posted a trailer to his new album which revealed the album's release date as February 24, 2015. The album, Dark Sky Paradise debuted atop the Billboard 200 making it his first No. 1 album. He would lead with Video singles for songs entitled "IDFWU" "Blessed" "I Know" "One Man Can Change The World" and "Play No Games."As of February 1,2016 Dark Sky Paradise Was Certified Platinum.
Big Sean dated his high school sweetheart, Ashley Marie, whom he met when he was sixteen and started dating at nineteen until their break-up in early 2013. He subsequently began dating actress Naya Rivera, whom he first met over Twitter; their relationship became public in April 2013, though Big Sean told Complex that they had been dating for a while beforehand. Big Sean and Rivera announced their engagement in October 2013, but ended the engagement in April 2014. In October 2014, singer Ariana Grande confirmed she and Big Sean were dating. Sean and Grande made their red carpet debut at the 2015 Grammys. In April 2015, the couple ended their relationship after 8 months of dating.
In late October 2008, Big Sean was featured in The Source and headlined the "Style" section of the magazine. In the article Sean talks about his own personal style and states that his favorite clothing brands are 10 Deep, Billionaire Boys Club, and Bape. Big Sean has posed in the Winter 2008 Billionaire Boys Club lookbook, and is a consistent representative of Ti$A clothing and hats, along with Chris Brown and Tyga. He also has an endorsement deal with Adidas through which he has released his own "Detroit Player" line of sneakers  and is a follower of the Rosewood clothing style. In 2013, Big Sean launched his own clothing company, Aura Gold.
On August 4, 2011, Big Sean was arrested for sexual assault at a concert in Lewiston, New York. On October 26, he pled guilty to second-degree unlawful imprisonment, and was fined $750. The charges of third-degree sexual abuse were dropped. Big Sean's attorney, Scott Leemon, stated that he "...did not engage in any type of sexual misconduct."