Shawn Mendes may only be 17 years old, but he’s already had a number one album and headlined his own tour. The Canadian-born star was a breakout in 2014, and hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down yet. Before purchasing your ticket to his Handwritten North American tour, check out these 10 fun facts about the artist!
10. Like many contemporary artists, Mendes was discovered through social media. After uploading a six second video of his cover of Justin Beiber’s “As Long as You Love Me” to Vine, the singer’s popularity skyrocketed with nearly 3 million fans following him on the app. He was soon signed by Island Records who said that Mendes is “a serious star, and people are reacting and wanting to be very much part of his journey.”
9. The music sensation gets super nervous and awkward during photoshoots. Since he became a worldwide star he has had thousands of pictures taken of him, but it doesn’t seem to get any easier. He has even created an alter-ego, Vinito, to help before going into shoots to boost his confidence. Mendes describes Vinito as a “very Spanish” male with an intense “smoky-eye.”
8. The inspiration behind his debut album title, Handwritten, is the fact that the artist prefers to write all of his song lyrics by hand. He believes it makes the writing process more genuine and honest, as well as making his lyrics better. He enjoys scratching out words and lyrics and rewriting them to get the perfect line.
7. The 17-year-old pop star is still enrolled in his Canadian high school. The singer attends Pine Ridge Secondary School in Pickering, Ontario, and was even voted as Student of the Month and Face of the Future in November 2013. He is dedicated to earning his diploma, and works with his teachers through Internet and email.
6. After just 37 minutes, the artist’s first EP became the #1 album in the country on iTunes. Mendes used a live stream and the Vine app to get fans tweeting the hashtag #ShawnToNumber1. Not only that, but the musician is also the youngest artist to have a song debut in the Top 25 of Billboard’s Hot 100, beating out Justin Beiber.
5. Despite being insanely busy, the artist is super into fitness and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. He enjoys working out and lifting, making it a priority even on the road. His favorite healthy meal would include chicken, rice and vegetables. In an interview with Twist Magazine, Mendes stated that working out has “changed [his] life for the best. It not only keeps [him] healthy and strong, but it keeps [him] mentally straight.”
4. Mendes is half Portuguese and speaks three different languages. His dad is of Portuguese descent, and Shawn received his middle name, Raul, from him. In an effort to learn Spanish earlier this year, the star teamed up with Fifth Harmony singer and close friend Camila Cabello. The two made a trade: Cabello would teach Mendes Spanish if he taught her how to play the guitar.
3. Shawn won the “Push” award at MTV’s 2015 Europe Music Awards. The honor recognized him as the year’s best new musician. Mendes was up against some pretty big names like Tori Kelly, James Bay and Jess Glynne. In his online acceptance he said the win was “insane,” and thanked all of his loyal fans.
2. Ed Sheeran is one of Mendes’ big influences, and vice versa. After viewing some of Shawn’s covers online, Sheeran flew the young singer out to Los Angeles to meet him and have dinner together. Ed really admires the fact that Shawn never complains, and is a super hard worker like himself. Mendes really hopes to do a collaboration with “The A Team” singer, and says that Sheeran is “a good role model for me to try to follow.” We can’t wait!
1. Mendes, along with singer-songwriter Vance Joy, opened on Taylor Swift’s famous ‘1989’ world tour in 2015! He joined Swift for all of her North American locations where he performed hits like “Stitches,” and “Life of the Party.” Mendes said the opportunity was “flattering,” because Taylor hand-picks all of her opening acts!