Shawn Mendes has indeed made his mark on the music scene and is a favorite among teenage and young adult fans. He even made the Forbes Celebrity 100 list and has the distinction of being the youngest self-made millionaire of 2019 with a net worth of $170 million. In addition to being a talented singer, Mendes is also a songwriter and model with Wilhelmina Models.
Shawn Mendes learned to play the guitar by watching tutorial videos on YouTube in 2012 when he was 14 years old. A few months later he started posting videos of him playing cover songs on YouTube. Mendes gained a significant following after posting a cover of Justin Bieber’s “As Long As You Love Me” on Vine in 2013. He got 10,000 likes and 10,000 followers the next day. After that point, he gained millions of followers and viewers and gained popularity for his six-second Vine snippets of renditions of pop songs. By August 2014, Shawn Mendes was the third most-followed musician on Vine. Andrew Gertler, an artist manager, discovered Mendes online in November 2013 and brought Mendes to Island Records in January 2014. In April of that year, Mendes won Ryan Seacrest’s Best Cover Song contest with a cover of Great Big World’s “Say Something.” In May 2014, Shawn Mendes was officially signed to Island Records.
Mendes released his full-length album Handwritten in April 2015. The project debuted at Number One on the Billboard 200 chart. The album sold 106,000 copies in its first week and was declared platinum. Mendes went on to become the youngest artists to chart at number one since the release of Justin Bieber’s My World album. The third single from Mendes’ album “Stitches” reached number four on the US Billboard Hot 100. This became his first top 10 single in the US. And his first number one hit on the Adult Contemporary and Adult Pop Songs charts. The song eventually reached number one on the UK music charts as well.
During 2015, Shawn Mendes also opened for Taylor Swift during her 1989 World Tour dates in North America. He recorded “Believe” for the soundtrack of Descendants, the hit Disney Channel Original Movie. Later that year, Mendes and Camila Cabello, who was a member of the group Fifth Harmony at the time, release a duet called “I Know What You Did Last Summer.” The song was featured on Mendes’ reissue album, Handwritten Revisited.
In May 2019, Mendes released the single “If I Can’t Have You” along with a music video for the song. The single hit number two on the US Billboard Hot 100 and become the highest-rated single on the chart. “If I Can’t Have You” also debuted in the top 10 in the UK and Australia and became Mendes’ fifth top-10 single in both countries. He released a Gryffin remix single of “If I Can’t Have You” in July 2019.
In June 2019, Mendes released the single “Senorita” with Camila Cabelo, along with a music video. The song hit number 2 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and was the second duet for the two singers. Not only do Mendes and Cabelo make beautiful music together, they are also currently in a romantic relationship.
Mendes was born in Pickering, Ontario. His parents are Karen (nee Rayment), a real estate agent and Manual Mendes, a businessman in the bar and restaurant supplies industry. Mendes’ father is Portuguese and is a native of Algarve. His mother is from England. Shawn has a younger sister, Aaliyah.
Shawn Mendes was raised in Pickering and attended Pine Ridge Secondary School where he played soccer and ice hockey. He was also part of the high school glee club and took acting lessons to become more comfortable and compelling on stage. Mendes auditioned for Disney Channel in Toronto. He graduated from high school in 2016.
Mendes has been characterized as a folk pop or pop singer but has musical influences from many genres. He cites artists like Justin Timberlake, John Mayer and Ed Sheeran as the artists who have influenced his music the most. As a child, Mendes listened to country music, particularly Garth Brooks, as well as Led Zeppelin and reggae music because this was the music his parents played in the home. Mendes shares that his second studio album was inspired by John’s Mayer’s music, and his third album was influenced by the sounds of Kings of Leon, Justin Timberlake, Daniel Caesar and Kanye West.
Several music journalists have written about Shawn Mendes’ work as well. Brittany Spanos from Rolling Stone states that Mendes includes acoustic folk-pop sounds into his musical catalog. Joe Coscarelli said that Mendes has a soft and soulful sound that appeals to teenagers and tweens that has become popular with adult contemporary listeners as well. In a Clash Magazine interview, Mendes says he wanted to “create anthems for people…for big moments in their lives.” Mendes asserts that he doesn’t want his music to be temporary and that he’s focused on making a difference in the world. He shares “…it’s not only about the music your release, it’s about the things you do while you’re making the music.”
Shawn Mendes signed with Wilhelmina Models in 2016. The following year, Mendes walked the runway for the Emporio Armani Spring 2018 fashion show in Milan, Italy. He wore EA Connected, Armani’s new smartwatch during the show. Before his appearance in the show, Mendes filmed a commercial video for the product, which was shown during his runway walk.
In June 2018, it was announced that Mendes was the ambassador for Armani’s total “Fall Winter 2018-2019” watch collection. The next month, photos of Mendes wearing the new EA Connected smartwatches were published and released on social media.
In February 2019, Mendes announced that he was the latest brand ambassador for the #MyCalvins campaign for Calvin Klein. During the 61st Annual Grammy Awards, Mendes was featured in a SmileDirectClub ad showcasing the campaign between the company and Mendes. Some of the proceeds from the SmileDirectClub campaign were dedicated to organizations dedicated to improving children’s physical, mental and emotional health. Later that month, Armani released a black and white ad for its touchscreen smartwatches featuring an instrumental version of Mendes’ song “In My Blood.”
Mendes announced his partnership with Tim Hortons, a Canadian food chain, in August 2019. He appears in a commercial and on Tim Hortons beverage cups. The following month, he partnered with Roots Canada.
Shawn Mendes has received several awards and nominations for his musical talents. He won 13 Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) awards. Mendes also won 11 MTV Europe Music Awards, eight Juno Awards, three BMI Awards, eight iHeartRadio Much Music Video Awards, three American Music Awards, two MTV Video Music Awards and the Allan Slaight Honour from Canada’s Walk of Fame. Mendes has also been nominated for three Grammy Awards.
Mendes has also appeared in a few movies and television shows. He has been a guest on Saturday Night Live several times, as well as the show Drop the Mic and the Spanish show Yo Quisiera. Mendes was also the voice of young Jake in the film Metagol.
In 2014, Shawn Mendes partnered with DoSomething.org to launch the campaign “Notes from Shawn.” With the campaign, fans were urged to write encouraging notes and leave them in random places around their communities. Mendes’ lyrics from his first single, “Life of the Party,” was the inspiration behind the campaign. The song addressed serious issues like depression, self-harm and low self-esteem. The following year, DoSomething.org launched the Mendes campaign a second time. The campaign was hashtagged online #NotesFromShawn.
Mendes also partnered with BlendApp to help the organization accomplish the goal of raising up to $25,000. A dollar was raised for each positive message and user signup on the application. In 2016, the campaign was launched a third time.
Mendes has worked with Pencils of Promise as well. This nonprofit organization builds schools and helps ensure quality education for children in developing countries. The singer helped Pencils of Promise raise $25,000 to build a school in Ghana.
In 2017, after seeing the horror of the earthquake in Mexico City, Mendes started the Mexico Earthquake Relief Fund with the American Red Cross. He donated $100,000 toward hurricane relief efforts in Mexico.
Mendes worked with Omaze in 2018 to raise money via donations to support WE Schools. The movement supports young people through educational mentorship and services. Mendes encouraged his fans to support the cause and offered donors the opportunity to attend his 2018 concert tour. In September of 2018, Mendes participated in the yearly Global Citizen festival at Central Park in New York City. He performed at the park, along with artists such as John Legend, Janelle Monae and Janet Jackson.
The concert was organized to raise awareness about the importance of education and the lack of educational resources for children around the world, specifically young women. Before the event, Mendes took to social media to contact Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada. Mendes thanked Trudeau for leading the initiative for Leave No Girl Behind, a movement focused on empowering girls through programs and workshops. Shawn Mendes also told the prime minster that he was willing to discuss the project further. Trudeau thanked Mendes for reaching out to him and stated that “the more people we have fighting for girls’ education, the better! Let’s talk.”
Mendes released a cover of “Under Pressure” with producer Teddy Geiger in October 2018. The song was originally recorded by Queen and David Bowie. Mendes’ single was part of a cover series of Queen songs and was released to celebration Bohemian Rhapsody, the Queen biopic. Proceeds from the single were donated to the Mercury Phoenix Trust. Mercury Phoenix Trust was developed to help the fight against AIDS and HIV and was founded by Queen band members after the death of the band’s frontman, Freddie Mercury. Jim Beach, Queen’s manager, expressed his thanks to Universal Music Group and Mendes for supporting the cause.
Mendes also performed with other artists including Meghan Trainor, Ella Mai, Khalid and NF in October 2018 at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles for the We Can Survive event. The concert was organized to raise money for the Young Survival Coalition, an organization that supports young women diagnosed with breast cancer.
In August 2019, Mendes announced the launch of his charity, the Shawn Mendes Foundation, with the goal to empower and inspire young people and his fans to bring about positive change in their communities and the world by advocating for the issues that are close to their hearts.
Shawn Mendes has been forthcoming about having anxiety. He disclosed that he had anxiety with a song from his third studio album “In My Blood.” Mendes stated that he’d been going to therapy to help him manage anxiety and shared that people should take advantage of the type of therapy that works for them. This can include listening to music, talking to someone, exercising and spending time with friends. The singer shared that he’s making a deliberate effort to stay connected to the important people in his life. He asserted that his anxiety was causing him to be withdrawn, since he thought that closing himself off from people would make it easier to deal with his mental health. However, he discovered that the best way to improve his anxiety was to be open and honest about it.
Mendes has also been under scrutiny because of his sexuality, since many people believed he was gay. He responded to the rumors by stating that he is not gay, and that it shouldn’t matter even if he was. Mendes encouraged fans and critics to concentrate on his music instead of his sexuality.
Shawn Mendes has been in a relationship with singer Camila Cabello since July 2019. Many fans believed that the two were staging a relationship for publicity, since the singers released a song together. However, Mendes insists that his relationship with Cabello is authentic.