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Shawn Peter Raul Mendes (born August 8, 1998) is a Canadian singer, songwriter, and producer. He attracted a following in 2013 when he began posting song covers on the video-sharing application Vine. After the app was deleted, Shawn took to performing small gigs around his home city Toronto. He was noticed by a talent scout from WILDD Records and was almost immediately picked up by the label with Madonna as his mentor.

Shawn recorded his debut album Revelation which went on to earn critical acclaim and a slew of award nominations. Shawn followed up quickly with an accompanying EP Glass Castles: Revelation Movement II. In 2018, Shawn released Evolution to continued success. Shawn is one of most popular artists working in the industry today and is sometimes referred to as the "Modern Prince of Pop".

Early Life[]

Shawn was born in Toronto, Ontario, the son of Karen, a real estate agent, and Manuel Mendes, a businessman, selling bar and restaurant supplies in Toronto. His father is Portuguese (from the Algarve),[2] while his mother is English. He has a younger sister named Aaliyah. Shawn was raised in Pickering, Ontario, where he attended Pine Ridge Secondary School. During his teenage years, Shawn was rocked by two personal tragedies; the death of his best friend from Cancer and the subsequent suicide of another close friend as a result.

Career[]

2013-2016: Social Media Celebrity[]

The popular app Vine was the platform that Shawn was first gained notoriety. Posting 6 second covers of popular songs, Shawn quickly gained a following on the app. He became one of the most followed and revined users on the app. His prominence on the app led to an involvement with MAGCON along with other social media celebrities such as Cameron Dallas and Nash Grier. Shawn participated in the in the group until around 2015 when he left the group shortly before it officially disbanded. Shawn took to YouTube for a short time but did not post frequently, not gaining too much traction on the platform.

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2016-2017: Independent Performing, Signing []

Following his departure from MAGCON and his disappearance from YouTube, Shawn began doing independent performing in and around Toronto. He took gigs playing at birthday parties, weddings, and other social events. Shawn gained some attention from his performing efforts, building up a solid enough reputation to begin performing in music specific venues. Shawn was a frequent performer at a teenage music club called Fifteen After. He performed at the venue around 19 times over the course of late 2016 and early 2017. Shawn booked a performance at a popular local coffee bar. He performed to an audience that was overly enthusiastic with his performance, most not paying him much attention. However, one critical person was paying close attention.

Michael Anderson, a talent representative of Madonna's WILDD Records, stopped Shawn as he was leaving and introduced himself. Shawn and Michael had coffee and discussed possibly cutting some demos. Michael booked Shawn an afternoon's recording session at a local studio where he recorded a short acoustic performance of an original song called "In The Dark I Feel Free" (an early version of the song "In the Dark"). Michael left for New York and presented the short demo tape to Madonna. Madonna immediately requested to meet Shawn. Shawn and his mother left for New York on a flight paid for by Madonna the next afternoon. Madonna met with Shawn at her apartment in New York. Madonna asked him several questions about what he wanted as an artist. Madonna was highly impressed by Shawn and she signed him to a four year, multi-album contract.

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2017: Writing and Recording Revelation[]

Shortly after his meeting with Madonna, Shawn relocated from Toronto to a rented apartment in the city. Shawn spent around 3 weeks writing for the album. Shawn was clear that he wanted to write the album himself. By the end of the 3 weeks, Shawn had written close to 30 songs. Shawn entered the studio in April of 2017. He worked with a team of fairly new producers and mixers, not wanting to have industry big wigs come in and over do the album. Shawn recorded with a live band in the studio, something very uncommon in the modern music industry. Shawn and his band entered into some exhausting marathon sessions. Sometimes, sessions would last for close to 11 hours.

By August, Shawn had completed 3/4 of the album. Up until this point, his signing had been kept a secret so he could work without any pressures on him. The announcement of his signing was met with mixed responses from the media and music public. Many thought that Shawn would release music that was formulaic and would fade into obscurity quickly. Shawn finished production of the album in September and then took to preparing his debut single.

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2017: Release of "Boys and Boys" and "Wish It Was Over"[]

Shawn released his debut single "Boys and Boys" and the song almost immediately got attention from the music media. To almost everyone's surprise, the song earned general acclaim from music critics who cited the song's tight production and mature sound. The song earned Shawn his first top 20 entry. On the success of the song, Shawn launched a promotional tour across the country, hitting radio stations and talk shows. Many began taking notice of Shawn due to his maturity and kind nature. Shawn released the video for "Boys and Boys" shortly after the release of the single. The video earned positive reviews, especially from the LGBTQ+ community.

Shawn announced his debut album for pre-order to be released in October. Shortly after, Shawn released the single "Wish It Was Over" which, much like it's predecessor earned highly positive reviews. The song was dedicated to Niall Horan following his shooting live on the VMA stage. Shawn released the video for the song shortly after and it earned positive response from music critics and fans, but it caused significant controversy due to it's content.

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2017: Release of Revelation, Acclaim, and A Mic and A Light Mini-Tour[]

Shawn released Revelation on October 6, 2017. The album debuted at #1 on the iTunes worldwide charts and debuted within the top 10 on worldwide album charts. The album earned critical acclaim from critics with some calling it one of the best albums of the year. Shawn began a press tour which saw him taking on bigger and bigger presences in the media. Shawn became a top draw artist, earning high profile spots on many award shows. His performances earned more positive responses from critics and fans.

Shawn ballooned into one of the most talked about artists in the industry following the release of the album. Shawn's industry peers became vocal in support for Shawn. Shawn was announced as the opening act for the Asian and Australian shows of Madonna's Freakshow World Tour. Shawn also announced he would be embarking on a six date mini-tour which quickly sold out at every date. The mini-tour earned positive reviews from critics with many complimenting his stage presence and musical ability.

Shawn headed into the end of 2017 as one of the top artists of the year, earning a handful of spots on Rolling Stone's year end lists. In December of 2017, Shawn was announced as the headliner for the Super Bowl LII Halftime Show, making him the youngest artist in history to do so as well as earning the distinction of youngest career at time of headlining (less than 1 year).

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2018: Glass Castles: Revelation Movement II, Grammys, Super Bowl, and Ocean Wave Avenue Tour[]

Toward the end of 2017, Shawn announced a companion EP to Revelation called Glass Castles: Revelation Movement II. The six song EP debuted at #1 around the world and was released to acclaim from music critics. The EP was noted as being a more mature side of Shawn's music which drew a lot of attention. It was announced that Shawn was nominated for several Grammy's including Album of the Year and Best New Artist. Shawn performed a medley of songs from the album. He ended up taking two Grammy's home with him.

On February 4th, Shawn performed at the Super Bowl during the halftime show. The performance earned a positive response from his peers as well as critics, though there was some backlash from the religious community due to the presence of LGBTQ+ positive themes.

Shawn announced and is about to embark on his first world tour, the Ocean Wave Avenue Tour, which is one of the most anticipated tours of the year.


2018: Evolution, Ocean Wave Avenue film, Live in Toronto, and Forever Young World Tour[]

In May of 2018, Shawn released "Barely Breathing", the lead single from his sophomore studio album. The single earned acclaim from critics and went on to win a slew of awards. It's accomapanying short film drew controversy but similar acclaim and many award wins. 

A documentary film titled Ocean Wave Avenue documenting the tour was released to box office success but somewhat tepid (but positive) reponse from critics who worried the film portrayed Shawn too personally. Accompanying the film was a CD/DVD of the concert recorded and ilmed live across 4 sold out shows in Toronto. 

In August of 2018, Shawn released his sophomore studio album Evolution to extremely positive reviews and immence commercial success. Three more singles have since been released from the album ("Sunday Bloody Sunday", "I See the Sun", "Lights in the Sky"). Shawn also released a non-album collaboration with Cameron Dallas called "Eclipse", all to great commercial success. 

Starting in February 2019, Shawn will be embarking on 5 month worldwide stadium tour known as the Forever Young World Tour.



Personal Life[]

Family[]

Shawn has one sister named Aalyiah who he maintains a close and protective relationship with. Shawn is also close to his mother and father. 


Sexuality and Relationships. []

Shawn came out as bisexual following widespread media speculation. He confirmed that he and Nick Jonas were in a relationship. Shawn and Nick announced a split in June 2018 after which Shawn later revealed Nick was abusive in the relationship. He began dating Cameron Dallas (for the second time) in September of 2018. 

Abuse by Nick Jonas[]

Shawn subliminally revealed on his album and later fully revealed in August 2018 that Nick Jonas was abusive in the relationship. Those close to Shawn confirmed the story, citing then unexplained bruising and cuts on his body as well as noticeable emotional distress and frequent, unexplained illness (which was captured in his documentary). Nick never denied the story and has remained silent on the issue. Shawn has spoken about the abuse since but has mostly remained distant from the subject unless asked about it. 


Depression and Axiety Issues[]

In May of 2018, Shawn revealed that he is a longtime sufferer of anxiety and depression since was 13 and that he's actively seen a therapist since 2015. He has been an advocate for mental health awareness and has become an official ambassador for the National Suicide Awareness Association. 


Charity and Political Association[]

Shawn is the founder of the Miracle Movement, an organization that supports Los Angeles Children's Hospital. Shawn hosted a benefit concert for the organization. He has expressed interest in expanding the organization to covering other children's medical institutions. Shawn is a supporter of gun control and in the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, he allied with the March for Our Lives movement. He is a Democrat. 

Controversies[]

Accusations of Political Agenda Pushing[]

Shawn has been accused of using his music as a means to push a political agenda. Following the release of the music video for "Wish It Was Over" a Kentucky congressman accused Shawn of being a negative example for youth as well as spreading a message of disobedience. Shawn responded with a statement in which he explained his position in the video but he refrained from apologizing stating that he "didn't have a reason to."

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Accusations of Exploiting Charity for Media Coverage[]

Shawn's strong and passionate support for Los Angeles Children's Hospital earned him some flack from media outlets who claimed that Shawn was using the charity as a promotional tool. Shawn himself never directly responded to the accusations, but his label as well as his fellow artists came to his defense.

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Olly Alexander's Limitless Challenge[]

A self described fan of Shawn's videoed herself jumping off the roof of a house as a part of Olly Alexander's Limitless Challenge, a challenge that Shawn heavily supported on social media. Shawn released a statement wishing the injured girl well but made it clear that his support of the challenge as well as Olly's intent behind the challenge was not to cause any sort of issues.

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Bashing from Religious Groups[]

Since the start of his career, Shawn has been a target of hate from many religious institutions, especially Westboro Baptist Church. Following the release of "Boys and Boys", many religious groups called Shawn out as promoting the "sinful" lifestyle of homosexuality. Shawn also earned controversy following the release of his music video for "Every Breaking Wave" which featured Shawn walking on the surface of the ocean.


"Barely Breathing" Song + Music Video Controversy[]

"Barely Breathing" talks about suicide and Shawn's own personal struggles with suicidal thoughts and axiety motivated breakdowns. The song's music video portray's Shawn's character self harming and attempting suicide which prompted backlash from some media outlets and parental and religious groups who worried the message was too heavy for Shawn's primary audience. Shawn repeatedly addressed the controversy and refused to issue any sort of apology or to censor the video stating "it's something that needs to be discussed."


"Eclipse" Video Controversy[]

The music video for "Eclipse" attracted controversy due to the video's sexual content. The video was pulled from all television airplay and currently has an age restriction warning on YouTube. The video and it's content earned backlash from parents and religious groups who claimed the video was too graphic. 



Discography[]

Studio Albums[]

Revelation (2017)

Evolution (2018)

Untitled Third Studio Album (2019)

Extended Plays and Live Albums[]

Glass Castles: Revelation Movement II (2017)

Live in Toronto (2018)

Unititled Collaborative EP (2019)

Tours[]

A Mic and A Light (2017)

Ocean Wave Avenue Tour (2018)

Forever Young World Tour (2019)

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