Shawn Peter Raul Mendes (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. Mendes was born in Toronto, Ontario, the son of Karen, a real estate agent, and Manuel Mendes, a businessman in Toronto. His father is Portuguese 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.
Mendes learned to play guitar by watching YouTube tutorial videos at the age of 13 in 2012. Less than a year later he 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. By August 2014, he was the third most-followed musician on Vine. Artist manager Andrew Gertler discovered Mendes online in November 2013, bringing him to Island Records in January 2014. He officially signed in May 2014 and released his first single “Life of the Party” on June 26 2014. 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.
Mendes released “Treat You Better”, the lead single from his second studio album Illuminate, in June 2016. 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. The album foray into “a soft classic-rock groove” in his new direction. “Mercy” released as the second single on August 18, 2016. Mendes released the live album Live at Madison Square Garden in December 2016.
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. In 2015, Mendes was the recipient of the Breakout Award at the SOCAN Awards in Toronto.
In 2014 Mendes and DoSomething.org launched 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. They relaunched their campaign for the second year in a row in 2015. He has also worked with Pencils of Promise, raising $25,000 to build a school in Ghana.