Shawn Mendes

A breakout teenaged star in the 2010s, Toronto native Shawn Mendes brought even more fresh-faced appeal to the sensitive acoustic sound associated with Ed Sheeran and Jason Mraz. As a young teenager, Mendes learned to play guitar from watching YouTube videos and wound up making a name online with unique versions of cover tunes, performing them as six-second snippets. These attracted a following and led to him getting signed to Island at age 15. The first single "Life of the Party" came out in June 2014; while the song was only a moderate hit (peaking at #24), it set his first chart record by making him the youngest artist to debut in the Billboard Top 25. In the accompanying video, he finds possible romance in a late-night diner. He then guested on a single by British pop group the Vamps-- "Oh Cecelia (Breaking My Heart)," an adaptation of the 1970 Simon & Garfunkel hit-- which went Top 10 in the UK, though it missed the charts in the US. Mendes' 2015 debut album, Handwritten included four hit singles, the biggest being the Danny Parker/Teddy Geiger song "Stitches." The song added an upbeat, handclapping chorus to Mendes' now-trademark acoustic sound, and the video was again keyed to his sensitive nature, as Mendes wrestled with his emotions in an empty car park. The album set another record, as the youngest artist to debut at number one. After touring with Taylor Swift he recorded a duet single with Fifth Harmony member Camila Cabello, "I Know What You Did Last Summer"-- another hit that was added to a reissue version of Handwritten. Now a certified star, Mendez spent 2016 recording new tunes. His second album Illuminate more than matched the success of the first, spinning off three Top 20 singles in "Treat You Better," "Mercy" and "There's Nothin' Holding Me Back;" the album ultimately went double platinum. The accompanying arena tour spun off two live albums, one recorded at Madison Square Garden and the other on MTV's Unplugged. 2018 brought another burst of activity including a performance at Queen Elizabeth II's 92's birthday concert on April 21. The lead single from his self-titled third album, "In My Blood" was released in March and featured a heavier sound than before, with lyrics dealing with his struggles with anxiety disorder. The followup single, "Lost in Japan" sported a funkier R&B feel inspired by one of Mendes' longtime favorites, Justin Timberlake.