How Did Shawn Mendes Become Famous?

Remember Vine? The six-second video app that took the world by storm in 2013? RIP Vine.

Many stars owe their fame to the now defunct app. Singer Shawn Mendes is one of those people. He went from Vine celebrity to teenage heartthrob, selling out stadiums all in a matter of years. But how did this all occur?

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The Beginning

Mendes started posting clips of him singing to Vine in 2013. His first video was a cover of “As Long as You Love Me” by Justin Bieber.

He told Billboard that he would pick sections of hits to sing and then post them to the app.

“You’d think, ‘I don’t understand why the kid has so many followers because it’s only six seconds. How are you supposed to know if he’s any good at six seconds?’ But there’s an art behind getting people to be intrigued because you only have six or six and a half seconds to impress people,” he said to the publication.

But his six-second videos were enough to catch the eye of manager Andrew Gertler.

At the time, Gertler was searching YouTube for covers of “Say Something” by a Great Big World. Once he came across Mendes, he knew he had stumbled across something big. He then sent the clip over to Island Records A & R manager Ziggy Chareton.

The two were excited about Mendes, but didn’t actually know what would come out of putting money behind a Vine star.

“We knew the social following was there, but he had never sold a song before,” Gertler told Billboard. “Coming to New York and seeing that girls were showing up to his hotel and seeing that these numbers online were translating to physical people was when we were kind of like, `OK, this is getting serious.'”

From there, his fame seemed to catch fire and other labels took notice.

“Island Records was the first record label to … acknowledge me,” he said. “After that, quickly Republic Records, and then Atlantic Records, Sony Records and Warner Bros. It was all the labels at once. It was absolutely insane like knowing that this many record labels were interested in me.”

In 2014, the singer finally released his debut EP with Island Records, The Shawn Mendes EP. The EP made it to number 5 on music charts and sold over 100,000 copies. The next year, he released a full-length album called Handwritten. It debuted at the number 1 spot in both the U.S. and Canada. His breakout song “Stitches” even reached the number 1 spot in European music charts and made the top 10 in North America.

He was then given the opportunity to tour with Taylor Swift on her 1989 World Tour. During this time, he released “I Know What You Did Last Summer” with Camila Cabello which rose to the top 20 in the U.S. and Canada.

Fast forward to September of 2016 and Mendes released his sophomore album Illuminate. The album went platinum in the U.S. and Canada.

He then went on a world tour from March 2016 to March 2017.

His most recent album Shawn Mendes was released in May of 2018.

Read more: Is Shawn Mendes Dating Anyone?

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