At just 17 years old, Shawn Mendes is already a huge pop star, and it all started with some 6-second videos. You may know Mendes now for his hit songs "Stitches" and "Life of the Party," but his early Vine covers of Taylor Swift and One Direction songs are what really got his name, and incredible voice, out there. Just this year alone, he's released his first album, has been opening for Swift on her "1989" tour and even has his own sold-out headlining tour.
With millions of followers, several award nominations and a few record-breaking songs, you'll definitely be hearing much more of this Canadian-born singer's name in the years to come. Here are five major things you need to know about this Vine-star-turned-pop-sensation.
1. It all started with some goofy videos
Mendes made a name for himself on Vine with some typical, and hilarious, 6-second videos, but once he started posting some of himself singing and playing the guitar, it was game over. With 4.3 million Vine followers, more than 5 million Instagram followers and 4.4 million Twitter followers, Mendes is the definition of a social media star. As someone who had been posting his own versions of hit songs to YouTube since he was in eighth grade, he noticed that when Vine was first becoming popular in 2013 there was nobody was using the platform to show off their singing skills. He then posted a short, yet amazing, video covering Justin Bieber's "As Long As You Love Me," and it became an instant hit by the next morning, pretty much launching his career, according to Billboard. As of August 2014, he was the third most-followed musician on Vine, and he eventually signed a deal with Universal Music Group's Island Records.
2. Justin Bieber had no idea who he was
Not only was his first Vine a cover of a Bieber song, but many also compare the two since they're both Canadian artists who started at such young ages. While Bieber was on New York's 95.5 PLJ on Sept. 15, host Ralphie Aversa asked Bieber what he thought of Mendes, to which Bieber replied, "Who's Shawn Mendes?" Aversa seemed shocked that Bieber had not yet heard of Mendes, and Bieber insisted he'd check him out, but fans were still outraged. Just a few days later, Bieber posted a screenshot of Mendes' song "Stitches" to his Instagram, giving him a huge shout-out and probably helping his already successful career even more. "Shawn I checked out the music and I'm so proud," he wrote. "So glad to see another boy from Canada crushin it."
3. He's already set some pretty impressive records
His first single in 2014, "Life of the Party," made it onto the Billboard top 25, making him the youngest artist to ever do so with a debut single, according to Pop Sugar. In July 2014, he then released his first album "Handwritten," which went on to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200. As if he wasn't already following in Bieber's footsteps, Bieber had been the last artist to accomplish this back in 2010. His newest song, "Stitches," also made it on to the Hot 100 Chart, becoming his second Top 40 hit, according to Billboard. "It's not easy to have a radio hit," he told Billboard. "You can feel the difference between 'Stitches' and my other songs - when I'm opening for Taylor Swift shows, they'll know the song when I play it. 'Stitches' is very me, and it has connected with my fans in the way I wanted it to. It's a great feeling." "Life of the Party" ended up going platinum in America earlier this year.
4. He's going to be on TV
Mendes is going to be in season three of CW's "The 100," which will premiere in 2016, and it's all because he personally reached out to the executive producer, Jason Rothenberg, himself. "Shawn is a big fan of the show and reached out to me on Twitter about potentially working together," Rothenberg told E! News. "He's a very talented artist, and we knew he wanted to do something special and different for the premiere. Shawn gave us a unique opportunity, and I can't wait for our fans to see our collaboration." Apparently, the show will be going musical for an episode, and who better than Mendes to make that happen?
5. He's won and been nominated for several awards already
He has won the Teen Choice Award for Choice Web Star: Music the past two years in a row. He also won the Fan Fave Video Award earlier this year at Canada's MuchMusic Video Awards and the Best Vine Musician Award at the 2015 Shorty Awards. He has been nominated for several other social media categories, but his latest awards finally steer him out of that label and into the official singer categories. At the 2015 MTV EMAs, which take place this Sunday, Oct. 25, Mendes is nominated for Best Canadian Act, Best New Artist and Best Push Act, which means best breakthrough artist. Voting is still open, so if you'd like to see Mendes take home his first MTV award, vote here!