Shawn Peter Raul Mendes is a Canadian singer and songwriter. Born in the city of Pickering, Ontario, he gained international fame after getting his start on YouTube and now-defunct app Vine.
Not only was he discovered by posting his cover videos on the Internet, but he also taught himself to play guitar the same way, by watching YouTube tutorial videos.
“I would type in things like, ‘How to play beginner songs on guitar,’” he said in an interview with The Telegraph. “I taught myself these chords and slowly started to get the hang. I was obsessed with it.” His fascination and love of the guitar are what led him to post his videos and eventually gain a following of millions of people.
Shawn released his first single “Life of the Party” in June 2014. His Island Records debut, The Shawn Mendes EP, reached number one on the iTunes charts in under 40 minutes upon being released in July of the same year. In 2015, he released his first full-length album, Handwritten, which soared to No.1 in both the USA and Canada. The single “Stitches” reached No.1 in European music charts and the Top 10 in North America. Additionally, his hit song “Believe” was featured in the popular Disney Channel musical Descendants.
He was also listed among Time’s “25 Most Influential Teens of 2014” and became the youngest-ever artist to debut in the top 25 of Billboard Hot 100. In 2016, his second studio album Illuminate was released, and the lead single “Treat You Better” became a major hit. Soon, Mendes embarked on his Illuminate World Tour, which sold out arenas around the world.
Further success followed, with him being listed as the youngest-ever artist to debut in the top 25 of Billboard Hot 100 and the Time’s The 30 Most Influential Teens of 2016, and he made his first appearance on Forbes’s 30 Under 30 2016: Music.
Aside from being known as a successful artist, Shawn Mendes is known as an active philanthropist. He collaborates with the Pencils of Promise Charitable Foundation, an organization engaged in the construction of educational institutions in third world countries. Together with the American Red Cross, Shawn established an earthquake relief fund in Mexico with a donation of $100,000. He also performed at The Hollywood Bowl for the “We Can Survive” event to raise funds for Young Survival Coalition to support young women diagnosed with breast cancer.
Those are just a few of his contributions. However, the latest work has been the launch of Shawn Mendes Foundation, where fans can make suggestions about which projects to support.
“I’m so excited to announce the launch of Shawn Foundation,” he said, “to support causes that are important to my fans and our generation. I will work alongside my fans to provide them with a platform and the means to give back and take action.”
Many of his fans see him as a role model, and it’s no wonder, considering his healthy values and humble approach to everything he does. We are happy that young people have such a person to look up to, and we can’t wait to see what the future will bring to this amazing young man.