Shawn Mendes

Shawn Mendes

Mendes in December 2014
Background information
Birth name Shawn Peter Raul Mendes
Born (1998-08-08) August 8, 1998
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Origin Pickering, Ontario, Canada
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • piano
  • keyboards
Years active 2013–present
Labels Island

Shawn Peter Raul Mendes (/ˈmɛndɛz/, European Portuguese: [ˈmẽdɨʃ]; born August 8, 1998) is a Canadian singer-songwriter. He attracted a following in 2013, when he began posting song covers on the video sharing application Vine. The following year, he caught the attention of artist managers Andrew Gertler and Island Records A&R Ziggy Chareton, which led to him signing a deal with the record label. Mendes went on to release an EP and his debut studio album Handwritten, whose single "Stitches" reached the top 10 in the US and Canada, and number one in the UK. His sophomore album, Illuminate (2016), was preceded by the single "Treat You Better". Both albums debuted atop the US Billboard 200.

Early life

Mendes was born in Toronto, Ontario, the son of Karen, a real estate agent, and Manuel Mendes, a businessman, selling bar and restaurant supplies in Toronto. His father is Portuguese (from the Algarve),[2] while his mother is English. Mendes was raised in Pickering, Ontario, where he attended Pine Ridge Secondary School.[3]


2014–present: Handwritten and Illuminate

Mendes first started posting cover videos on the popular 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.[4] By August 2014, he was the third most-followed musician on Vine.[5] Artist manager Andrew Gertler discovered Mendes online in January 2014, bringing him to Island Records where he eventually signed and released his first single "Life of the Party" in June 2014.[6] He became the youngest 15-year-old artist to debut in the top 25 with a debut song on the US Billboard Hot 100, making it to number 24 for the week ending July 12, 2014.[7]

Prior to his signing, Mendes toured as a member of the MagCon Tour[8] alongside other young artists and social media sensations.[9]

Mendes was also on a nationwide tour with Austin Mahone as an opening act, releasing his debut major label EP in July.[10] The EP debuted and peaked at number five on Billboard 200, selling 48,000 copies in its first week.[11] He won the Teen Choice award in 2014 for Webstar in Music.[12]

Mendes opening the 1989 World Tour

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.[13] However, it suffered a 89% traditional sales decrease in its second week.[14] 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,[15] and reached the top position on the Mainstream Top 40 chart.[16] The song later reached number one in the UK.[17] Mendes recorded a song called "Believe" for Disney Channel Original Movie Descendants.[18] Also in 2015, Mendes opened for Taylor Swift during 1989 World Tour dates for North America.[19]

In late 2015, Mendes and Camila Cabello from Fifth Harmony released their collaborative single "I Know What You Did Last Summer". The song was included on Mendes' Handwritten Revisited reissue.[20] He appeared on The CW's The 100 third season premiere on January 21, 2016.[21] He later announced his second world tour as a headliner, which will visit North America and Europe, starting in March 2016.[22] Mendes signed with modeling agency Wilhelmina Models in early 2016.[23] Mendes was listed among Time's The 25 Most Influential Teens in 2014[24] and 2015.[25] He also made his first appearance on a Forbes list with their annual "30 Under 30", for 2016.[26]

Mendes released "Treat You Better", the lead single from his second studio album Illuminate, in June 2016.[27] The single reached the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, while the album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 with 145,000 equivalent album units, including 121,000 in pure album sales.[28] The album foray into "a soft classic-rock groove" in his new direction.[29]


Mendes has cited John Mayer, Ed Sheeran, Justin Timberlake, and Bruno Mars as his musical influences.[30][31] For Brittany Spanos of Rolling Stone Mendes incorporates "catchy acoustic folk-pop tunes" in his catalogue,[1] 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."[32] For Coscarelli, "Illuminate represents the careful evolution of his digestible sound and subject matter, with much of the organic instrumentation and good-guy earnestness of Handwritten intact". Mendes stated:

I’m releasing a song about sex at 18, which is appropriate. I wouldn’t have done it if I were 16 or 17. I’ll release a song about drinking at 21, you know what I mean?[32]


In 2014 Mendes and relaunched 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.[33] He has also worked with Pencils of Promise, raising $25,000 to build a school in Ghana.[34]



Opening act

Awards and nominations

Mendes has received several awards and nominations, including an iHeartRadio Music Award, two MTV Europe Music Awards, three Much Music Video Awards, and the Allan Slaight Honour from Canada's Walk of Fame.[38] In 2015, Mendes was the recipient of the Breakout Award at the SOCAN Awards in Toronto.[39]


  1. 1 2 "Shawn Mendes on Grown-Up New LP, John Mayer's Advice, Dream Acting Role". Rolling Stone. September 23, 2016. Retrieved October 29, 2016.
  2. "Shawn Mendes: o rapaz do momento". October 23, 2015. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  3. "Shawn Mendes: How a six-second video launched the next Justin Bieber". January 16, 2015. Retrieved January 27, 2015.
  4. "Getting Honest With Shawn Mendes". Honest Blue.
  5. "Shawn Mendes: 5 Things You Need To Know About The Vine Star Turned Chart-Topping Singer (PHOTOS)". Headlines & Global News. October 21, 2015. Retrieved 2015-11-14.
  6. "How Shawn Mendes Is Turning Vine Fame into A Music Career". Billboard. July 18, 2014. Retrieved July 18, 2014.
  7. "Shawn Mendes, 15-Year-Old Vine Celebrity, Makes Record-Breaking Debut on Billboard Hot 100". Idolator. July 2, 2014. Retrieved July 13, 2014.
  8. "Girls go gaga for Vine video boys at Itasca meet and greet". Daily Herald. March 3, 2014.
  9. Gregory, Ted (February 21, 2014). "Viners' meet and greet fosters teen idol frenzy Boys encounter stardom as popular producers of Twitter app's 6-second videos". Chicago Tribune.
  10. "'Secret' is out: Austin Mahone announces album, tour". USA Today. April 4, 2014.
  11. Caulfield, Keith (April 15, 2015). "Shawn Mendes Album on Course for No. 1 Debut on Billboard 200 Chart". Billboard. Retrieved October 2, 2015.
  12. Brown, Harley (June 4, 2014). "Vine Superstar Shawn Mendes Signed to Island Records (Exclusive)". Billboard.
  13. Caulfield, Keith (April 22, 2015). "Shawn Mendes' 'Handwritten' Debuts at No. 1 on Billboard 200 Chart". Billboard. Retrieved August 31, 2015.
  14. Caulfield, Keith (April 29, 2015). "Alabama Shakes Scores Its First No. 1 Album on Billboard 200 Chart". Billboard. Retrieved 2015-04-29.
  15. Trust, Gary (October 26, 2015). "The Weeknd Tops Hot 100; Adele No. 1 Next Week?". Billboard. Retrieved October 26, 2015.
  16. Trust, Gary (November 15, 2015). "Shawn Mendes' 'Stitches' Hits No. 1 on Pop Songs Chart". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved November 9, 2015.
  17. Copsey, Rob (January 22, 2016). "It's not a stitch-up! Shawn Mendes knocks Bieber off Number 1". Official Charts Company. Retrieved January 24, 2016.
  18. "Shawn Mendes 'Believe' Song For Disney's 'Descendants'". J-14. October 2, 2015.
  19. 1 2 "Vance Joy, Shawn Mendes tapped to support Taylor Swift on her "1989" tour". Headline Planet. November 3, 2014.
  20. "Shawn Mendes & Camila Cabello Announce 'I Know What You Did Last Summer' Duet: Hear a Preview". Billboard. Retrieved 2015-11-14.
  21. "Watch Shawn Mendes Bring Sweet, Beautiful Music To 'The 100′". MTV news. Retrieved January 18, 2016.
  22. Spanos, Brittany (January 28, 2016). "Shawn Mendes Announces Second Headlining World Tour". Rolling Stone. Retrieved January 31, 2016.
  23. McCall, Tyler (January 5, 2016). "Shawn Mendes Gets Modelling Contract". Teen Vogue. Retrieved February 27, 2016.
  24. "The 25 Most Influential Teens of 2014". TIME Staff. Time. October 13, 2014. Retrieved November 16, 2015.
  25. "The 30 Most Influential Teens of 2015". TIME Staff. Time. October 27, 2015. Retrieved November 16, 2015.
  26. "Forbes 30 Under 30: Music". Forbes. January 3, 2016. Retrieved January 4, 2016.
  27. "Shawn Mendes Tries to End an Abusive Relationship in 'Treat You Better' Video". Billboard. July 12, 2016. Retrieved July 13, 2016.
  28. Caulfield, Keith (October 2, 2016). "Shawn Mendes Earns Second No. 1 Album on Billboard 200 With 'Illuminate'". Billboard. Retrieved October 3, 2016.
  29. "Who's Shawn Mendes? You're About To Find Out, Whether You Like It Or Not". Stereogum. September 22, 2016. Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  30. Pankey, William (May 27, 2015). "Q&A: Shawn Mendes talks touring, musical influences and having a No. 1 album". AXS. Retrieved September 27, 2015.
  31. Lynn, Jennifer (September 2, 2014). "MTV Meets: Shawn Mendes". MTV. Retrieved September 27, 2015.
  32. 1 2 "Shawn Mendes, Pop Idol, Is Not Banking on a Gimmick". The New York Times. September 20, 2016. Retrieved October 18, 2016.
  33. Abel, Alex (August 28, 2014). "Join Shawn Mendes to Combat Low Self-Esteem & Spread LOVE!". seventeenmag. Retrieved October 20, 2016.
  34. Bliss, Karen (November 11, 2015). "Shawn Mendes Wants To Continue Making a Difference, Perhaps Go to Africa". SamaritanMag. Retrieved October 20, 2016.
  35. "Whoa, Shawn Mendes Is Going on an International Tour—And It Includes The Chance To Meet Him!". MTV. January 19, 2015.
  36. Shawn Mendes. "Shawn Mendes – Official Website". Retrieved January 27, 2015.
  37. "Austin Mahone Is Going on Tour With His Crush". J-14 Magazine. April 4, 2014.
  38. "Shawn Mendes To Receive The 2015 Allan Slaight Honour". ETCanada.
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