Shawn Peter Raul Mendes (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, and the third one making him the third-youngest artist to earn three number one albums. 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, Time’s The 30 Most Influential Teens in 2015 and 2016, Forbes’ 30 Under 30 in 2016, and Time’s The 100 Most Influential People in 2018.
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), while his mother is English. He has a younger sister named Aaliyah. Mendes was raised in Pickering, Ontario, where he attended Pine Ridge Secondary School.
Artistry and musical influences
Mendes has mainly been described as a pop and folk pop singer. Mendes has cited John Mayer, Ed Sheeran, and Justin Timberlake as his main musical influences. He expressed that his second studio album was influenced by Mayer’s work while his third album was inspired by Timberlake, Kings of Leon, Kanye West and Daniel Caesar. For Brittany Spanos of Rolling Stone, Mendes incorporates “catchy acoustic folk-pop tunes” in his catalogue, 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”. 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.”