Shawn Mendes

  • Canadian pop singer, musician and songwriter born in 1998 from Pickering, Ontario.
  • At 14 years of age, Mendes watched YouTube videos to learn how to play the guitar, and within a year, he was making videos of himself playing cover songs and posting them on YouTube. In 2013, he posted a cover of Justin Bieber’s As Long As You Love Me on the video app Vine, and in 24 hours he received over 10,000 followers. Over the next few months, he posted six-second videos of other pop songs, and his number of followers exceeded 1 million. Record companies started to notice, and after he won a Best Cover Song contest sponsored by Ryan Seacrest, he was signed to a recording deal in 2014.
  • His first single, Life of the Party, was released in June of 2014. It debuted at #24 – at 15 years old, he became the youngest artist ever to have a song debut in the top 25 of the Hot 100 chart. The following month, he released a self-titled EP, which debuted at #5 on the Billboard Album chart.
  • Already a teen idol, Mendes’ debut studio album, Handwritten, was released in April 2015. It debuted at #1 on the album chart, and eventually it was certified 2x platinum. Two singles from the album reached the top 20 of the Hot 100 – Stitches peaked at #4 (and #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart), and I Know What You Did Last Summer (with Camila Cabello) reached #20.
  • Mendes began an acting career in 2016, performing in The CW’s post-apocalyptic series The 100. He also appeared twice on Saturday Night Live, as well as the musical reality competition Drop the Mic. He also began a modeling career that year.
  • His second studio album was released in 2016. Illuminate debuted at #1 on the album chart, and it was certified platinum. The singles Treat You Better and There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back both peaked at #6 on the Hot 100, and both topped the Adult Contemporary chart. He was the first artist ever to have 3 songs top the Adult Contemporary chart before the age of 20. The album was largely a pop rock album, though there is a strong blues influence to some of the music.
  • In 2018, he released the self-titled studio album Shawn Mendes. It was praised by critics and fans alike, and it became his third album to top the album chart and to be certified platinum. The song Señorita (with Carmila Cabello) was his first #1 song on the Hot 100, and it also topped charts in 35 other countries. Another single, If I Can’t Have You, reached #2, and In My Blood peaked at #11. His success with the album led to 3 Grammy nominations, including a nomination for Song of the Year for In My Blood.
  • Mendes stated that his musical influences were Justin Timberlake, Justin Beiber, Ed Sheeran, and Bruno Mars. These four artists were among the biggest pop stars of the 10s, and while Mendes hasn’t quite achieved the success of these stars, he seems to have the stuff to be a major pop artist in the 20s. It’s clear that talent and savvy management have set him up for future success. Here’s his video for Treat You Better – only 2 billion views on YouTube so far for this hit, the song won Radio Disney’s Song of the Year award in 2017.

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