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20 things Shawn Mendes achieved before turning 20

Editorial Staff

Shawn Mendes has spent the better part of his teenage years achieving things that most of us can only dream of doing in our lifetimes. Today, he celebrates his 20th birthday, so let's take a moment and look back at some of his biggest accomplishments so far.

1. He scored a record deal at the age of 16

From bedroom covers to Vine superstardom and then a record deal — Shawn Mendes’ rise to fame was quick but well earned. After getting lots of attention on Vine covering artists like Justin Bieber, the Canadian singer secured his deal with Island Records at the age of 16 when most of us were probably still struggling to secure an A in math class.

2. He received a Shorty Award

The Shorty Awards recognize the best content creators on social media. In 2015, when he was 17, Mendes nabbed the Shorty for best Vine musician.

3. He beat his own record for No. 1 songs

With “In my Blood,” Mendes became the first under-20 artist to have four No. 1 songs on Billboard’s adult pop chart, breaking his own record for three No. 1 songs.

4. All 3 of his albums debuted at No. 1

Mendes’ latest, self-titled album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart in June. His two earlier albums — Illuminate (2016) and Handwritten (2015) — also debuted at No. 1. He’s the third-youngest musician to score this album hat trick.

5. He has won 3 Juno Awards

Mendes’ first Juno nomination (breakthrough artist of the year) came in 2015. Since then, he has received 11 more nominations, eventually winning three: Fan Choice Award (2017 and 2018) and single of the year (2018) for “There’s Nothing Holding me Back.”

6. He posted the 36th most-viewed video in YouTube history

The billion-view club on YouTube is pretty tough to crack into, but Mendes’ 2016 video for “Treat You Better” is currently in the history books as the 36th most-viewed video ever. The only other Canadian artist ahead of him on that list is Justin Bieber.

7. He opened for Taylor Swift on her 1989 tour

Getting a Taylor Swift co-sign is a big deal, and in 2015 Mendes got to perform in front of thousands of her fans, opening for the pop star on her 1989 tour. And for his 17th birthday, Swift got 60,000 fans to sing him happy birthday.

8. He appeared on Ellen 5 times

Mendes and Ellen DeGeneres have great chemistry, which explains why she has already invited him to appear on her show five times, most recently on May 17, 2018.

9. He has more than 34 million Instagram followers

Some of us struggle to get 20 people to like a photo. For Mendes, getting over one million likes is a regular occurrence. Sure, he’s famous, but he’s also pretty good at social media and that’s definitely a skill you can put on your resumé.

10. He has performed on Saturday Night Live

Of all the late-night performance opportunities, Saturday Night Live is still one of the most coveted, and Mendes secured a spot at the age of 18, performing his hits “Mercy” and “Treat You Better.” Bonus: Emma Stone introduced him.

11. He performed for Queen Elizabeth

The Queen’s 92nd birthday celebration was a star-studded event that included big-name stars like Kylie Minogue, Sting, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and, yes, Shawn Mendes. The Canadian — did you know he was also half British? — got to perform for the Queen at Royal Albert Hall. He also had the chance to talk to Harry and Meghan, but as he tells Ellen, he chickened out at the last minute.

12. He counts Justin Trudeau among his fans

The prime minister featured Mendes on his summer playlist last year, which is basically one of the biggest accolades you can get as a Canadian artist, right?

13. His mentor John Mayer gifted him a guitar (and played on his latest album)

Shawn Mendes has called John Mayer “the best guitarist in the world,” and he will fight you if you say otherwise. So it’s been really heartwarming to see the two actually become friends over the years. During that time, Mayer has become a mentor of sorts and not only has he gifted Mendes a guitar, but he also worked on Mendes' latest self-titled album.

14. Mendes appeared on the cover of GQ Italia

In August 2017, Mendes appeared on the cover of GQ Italia looking molto bene wearing Armani.

15. Time named him one of the 100 most influential people of 2018

In his Time tribute to Mendes, Mayer wrote, “The fine art of Shawn Mendes is that you’re watching him discover music in real time. His songs are often his interpretation of music he’s fallen in love with, sometimes while he’s still on his honeymoon with it.”

16. He did a weeklong residency on The Late Late Show

In June, to coincide with the rollout of his latest album, Mendes did a weeklong residency on James Corden’s The Late Late Show, including a pretty great episode of Carpool Karaoke and this amazing performance of “Perfectly Wrong”:

17. 'In my Blood' was selected as Portugal’s official World Cup song

We already mentioned that Mendes is half British, but did you know he’s also Portuguese? Although he doesn’t normally perform in languages outside of English, he re-recorded his single “In my Blood” in Portuguese for a very special occasion this year: to be used as Portugal’s official World Cup song.

18. He’s already making moves toward becoming a movie star

While Mendes is still focused on music, he is looking to break into acting. He’s already made small appearances in 2013’s The Unbeatables, The 100 in 2016, and he is currently attached to an upcoming Ivan Reitman film called Summer of Love. Oh, and he almost starred in the teen comedy Love, Simon.

19. He has got 5 tattoos. Or is it 6?

We thought Mendes had five tattoos, but this Shawn Mendes Tattoo Guide says he has six. In any case, our favourite is the little elephant on his finger — his mother has a matching one!

20. He moved into his own apartment

“I have my own place, finally,” Mendes told James Corden during their Carpool Karaoke episode, “which at first sucked because cooking for yourself and cleaning your house just sucks.” But he then conceded that his mother still does his laundry.


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