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Shawn Mendes

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Shawn Mendes
Shawn Mendes at The Queen's Birthday Party (cropped 2).jpg
Mendes performing at The Queen's Birthday Party in 2018
Born Shawn Peter Raul Mendes
(1998-08-08) August 8, 1998 (age 20)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Singer
  • songwriter
Years active 2013–present
Home town Pickering, Ontario, Canada
Musical career
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • piano
Labels Island

Shawn Peter Raul Mendes (/ˈmɛndɛz/; born August 8, 1998) is a Canadian singer and songwriter. He gained a following in 2013, posting song covers on the video-sharing application Vine. The following year, he caught the attention of artist manager Andrew Gertler and Island Records A&R Ziggy Chareton, which led to him signing a deal with the record label. He has since released three studio albums, headlined three world tours, and received several nominations and awards.

Mendes released his self-titled debut EP (2014) and his debut studio album Handwritten (2015), whose single "Stitches" reached number one in the United Kingdom and the top 10 in the United States and Canada. He then released his second studio album Illuminate (2016), whose singles "Treat You Better", "Mercy", and "There's Nothing Holdin' Me Back" reached the top 10 in several countries. He recently released his self-titled third studio album (2018), whose single "In My Blood" reached the top 10 in several countries. All three albums debuted atop the US Billboard 200, with the first one making Mendes one of five artists to ever debut at number one before the age of 18,[1] and the third one making him the third-youngest artist to earn three number one albums.[2] Mendes also became the first artist to land four number one singles on the Adult Top 40 chart before the age of 20.

Mendes has headlined three concert tours: ShawnsFirstHeadlines, Shawn Mendes World Tour and Illuminate World Tour. He is scheduled to headline another world tour in 2019 to support his third studio album. Among his accolades, Mendes has won 13 SOCAN awards, three BMI Awards, three Juno Awards, eight MTV Europe Music Award, eight iHeartRadio MMVAs, and an American Music Award. Mendes was listed among Time's The 25 Most Influential Teens in 2014,[3] Time’s The 30 Most Influential Teens in 2015[4] and 2016[5], Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in 2016,[6], and Time’s The 100 Most Influential People in 2018[7].

Early life

Mendes was born in Toronto, Ontario, the son of Karen, a real estate agent, and Manuel Mendes, a businessman, who sells bar and restaurant supplies in Toronto. His father is Portuguese (from the Algarve),[8] while his mother is English. He has a younger sister named Aaliyah.[9] Mendes was raised in Pickering, Ontario, where he attended Pine Ridge Secondary School.[10]


2013–2015: Handwritten

Shawn Mendes at the Jingle Ball Tour 2014

Mendes learned to play guitar by watching YouTube tutorial videos at the age of 13 in 2012.[11] Less than a year later he started posting cover videos on the social video app Vine in 2013 and gained millions of views and followers in a few months, becoming well known for his six-second snippets of renditions of many popular songs.[12] By August 2014, he was the third most-followed musician on Vine.[13] Artist manager Andrew Gertler discovered Mendes online in November 2013, bringing him to Island Records in January 2014. He officially signed in May 2014.

He released his first single "Life of the Party" on June 26, 2014.[14] He became the youngest to debut in the top 25 on the US Billboard Hot 100, making it to number 24 for the week ending July 12, 2014.[15] Prior to his signing, Mendes toured as a member of the Magcon Tour[16] alongside other young Viners with a large following on social media.[17] Mendes was also on a nationwide tour with Austin Mahone as an opening act. He released his debut major label EP in July.[18] The EP debuted and peaked at number five on Billboard 200, selling 48,000 copies in its first week.[19] He won a Teen Choice award in 2014 for Webstar in Music.[20] On September 5, 2014, "Oh Cecilia (Breaking My Heart)" featuring Mendes was released as the fifth single from The Vamps' debut album, Meet the Vamps.[21] On November 6, 2014, "Something Big" was released as the second single.[22]

On April 14, 2015, Mendes released his full-length album Handwritten, which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart with 119,000 equivalent album units, selling 106,000 copies in its first week and was certified platinum.[23][24] Mendes then became the youngest artist to debut at number one since the release of Justin Bieber’s My World 2.0.[25] The third single from the album, "Stitches", peaked at number four on the US Billboard Hot 100, becoming his first top 10 single in the US,[26] and reached the top position on the Mainstream Top 40 chart.[27] The song later reached number one in the UK.[28] Also in 2015, Mendes opened for Taylor Swift during 1989 World Tour dates for North America.[29] In late 2015 Mendes and Camila Cabello, who was at the time a member of the group Fifth Harmony, released their collaborative single "I Know What You Did Last Summer". The song was included on Mendes' Handwritten Revisited reissue.[30] Mendes was listed among Time's The 25 Most Influential Teens in 2014[31]and Time’s The 30 Most Influential Teens in 2015[32].

2016–2017: Illuminate

Mendes in 2017

On January 21, 2016, Mendes made his acting debut on The CW's The 100 third season premiere.[33] He later announced his second world tour as a headliner, the Shawn Mendes World Tour which started in March 2016[34] and sold out 38 shows in North America and Europe within minutes.[35] Mendes signed with modeling agency Wilhelmina Models in early 2016.[36] He was listed among Time’s The 30 Most Influential Teen in 2016[5] and made his first appearance on Forbes annual list of "30 Under 30" in 2016.[37]

Mendes released "Treat You Better", the lead single from his second studio album Illuminate, in June 2016.[38] Commercially, the single reached the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the UK Singles Chart and was certified triple platinum.[24] The album, released September 23, 2016, debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 with 145,000 equivalent album units, including 121,000 in pure album sales and was certified platinum.[39][24] It debuted atop the charts in Canada, becoming his second number one album in his home country. The album foray into "a soft classic-rock groove" in his new direction.[40] "Mercy" was released as the second single on August 18, 2016,[41] which entered the top 20 in the US and the UK and was certified double platinum.[24] Mendes released the live album Live at Madison Square Garden in December 2016.[42] He appeared as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live December 3, 2016.[43]

In April 2017, Mendes embarked on his Illuminate World Tour which sold out arenas around the world such as Los Angeles' Staples Center and The O2 Arena in London.[44][45][46] He released the single "There's Nothing Holdin' Me Back" on April 20, 2017, included on his Illuminate deluxe edition.[47] The song was Mendes' third single to reach the top 10 in the US[48] and also reached number one on the Mainstream Top 40 airplay chart.[49] In August 2017, he became the first artist under 20 to have three number-one songs on the Billboard Adult Pop Songs chart.[50]

2018: Shawn Mendes

On March 22, 2018, Mendes released the lead single "In My Blood" from his upcoming third studio album,[51] followed up by the second single "Lost in Japan" on March 23.[52] On April 21, 2018, he performed at a televised concert honouring the 92nd birthday of Queen Elizabeth II.[53] His self-titled studio album was released on May 25, 2018 to positive critical reviews, with particular praise towards his songwriting and artistic growth.[54] It debuted at number one in Canada, making it his third number one album in his home country. It debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200. This feat made Mendes the third youngest artist to collect three number-one albums.[55]

To promote the album, Mendes will embark on his self-titled world tour in 2019.[56] Besides the 2019 tour, he performed at various music festivals across Europe, North America and South America. He has also performed his latest singles in music award events, recently on the iHeartRadio MMVAs in Canada on August 27, where he received eight nominations and won four awards.[57]

Artistry and musical influences

Mendes has mainly been described as a pop and folk pop singer.[58][59] Mendes has cited John Mayer, Ed Sheeran, and Justin Timberlake as his main musical influences.[60][61] He expressed that his second studio album was influenced by Mayer's work[62] while his third album was inspired by Timberlake, Kings of Leon, Kanye West and Daniel Caesar.[63] For Brittany Spanos of Rolling Stone, Mendes incorporates "catchy acoustic folk-pop tunes" in his catalogue,[59] while for Joe Coscarelli of The New York Times, "his soft, sometimes soulful pop-rock plays primarily to tweens and teenagers, but has also found traction on adult contemporary radio stations"[64]. In an interview with Clash magazine, Mendes stated:

"I want to create anthems for people. I want to create anthems for big moments in their lives...I don’t want my music to play for a few months and then go away forever. And not only that, I want to do incredible things that make a difference too. I think it’s not only about the music you release, it’s about the things you do while you’re making the music."[65]


In 2014, Mendes and launched their campaign called "Notes from Shawn". The campaign was inspired by the lyrics to his first single, "Life of the Party", and addressed low self-esteem, depression and awareness of self-harm.[66] They relaunched their campaign for the second year in a row in 2015[67] and for a third year in a row in 2016.[68] He has also worked with Pencils of Promise, raising $25,000 to build a school in Ghana.[69]

In September 2017, after witnessing the devastation of the earthquake in Mexico City, Mendes created the Mexico Earthquake Relief Fund in conjunction with the American Red Cross and donated $100,000 towards relief efforts.[70]

Personal life

Mendes has been open about his struggles with anxiety disorder, which he disclosed publicly through "In My Blood", a track from his third studio album. He declared that he had been undergoing therapy in order to help him deal with the mental health condition, stating:

I spoke to a therapist a couple of times [...] Therapy is what works for you. Therapy is listening to music and running on the treadmill, therapy is going to dinner with your friends—it's something that distracts you, that helps you heal and so it just depends on what you think therapy is. I made a conscious effort to be more connected to the people in my life. I found I was closing myself off from everybody, thinking that would help me battle it then realising the only way I was going to battle it was completely opening up and letting people in.[71]

Awards and nominations

Mendes has received several nominations and won awards, including 13 SOCAN awards, eight MTV Europe Music Awards, eight iHeartRadio Much Music Video Awards, three Juno Awards, three BMI Awards, an American Music Award, and the Allan Slaight Honour from Canada's Walk of Fame.[72][73]

In 2015, Mendes was the recipient of the Breakout Award at the SOCAN Awards in Toronto.[74] In 2016, he received a People's Choice Award for Favorite Breakout Artist.[75] In 2017, Mendes was nominated for an MTV Video Music Award for Best Pop Video for "Treat You Better" and for Song of the Summer for "There’s Nothin’ Holding Me Back".[76] He won an American Music Awards for Favorite Artist - Adult Contemporary.[77]

He won Juno's Single of the Year in 2018 for his single "There’s Nothing Holding Me Back".[78] Mendes has been awarded Songwriter of the Year at the 2018 SOCAN Awards.[79] Mendes received eight nominations for iHeartRadio’s MMVAs, where he won four awards, including Artist of the Year and Best Pop Artist or Group.[80]


Television and films roles
Year Title Roles Notes
2013 Metegol Young Jake Film; voice role
2015 Yo quisiera Himself Episode: "Yo soy la bloguera de moda"
2016 The 100 Macallan Episode: "Wanheda: Part 1"







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External links