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TEEN TITAN

Island’s Shawn Mendes Heads for a #1 Album Bow

Island teen troubadour Shawn Mendes has officially made the transition from viral phenom to mainstream sensation. His debut full-length, Handwritten, is headed for a six-figure, #1 bow on the HITS Album Sales and SPS (Sales Pus Streaming) charts.

The young singer-songwriter—whose rabid fan base helped place him among Time’s “Most Influential Teens of 2014”—has already enjoyed four iTunes #1s. These include last year’s The Shawn Mendes EP, the certified-gold single “Life of the Party,” “Never Be Alone” and Handwritten (which has racked up 65k in pre-orders). He’s sold more than a million singles overall.

Mendes has been selling out his headlining dates in mere minutes; an opening spot on Taylor Swift’s stadium trek will follow.

The Toronto-born Mendes first demonstrated his needle-moving capability when he posted his cover versions of pop hits to YouTube and other sharing sites. His social reach has subsequently ballooned, with followers surpassing 3.8m on Vine, 2.8m on Twitter and 2.7m on Instagram. His YouTube channel now enjoys 964k+ subscribers. At the 2014 Teen Choice Awards he was the obvious choice for Choice Web Star. Small wonder, too, that his admirers were nominated for Best Fan Army at the 2015 iHeartRadio Music Awards.

Mendes was Radio Disney Music Awards Nominee for Best New Artist, an MTV Artist to Watch and a Vevo Lift artist.He’s performed on Today, Live with Kelly & Michael, Ellen, Jimmy Kimmel, Letterman and Good Morning America; he’ll be returning to the latter on 4/17.

“Shawn has made a truly impressive debut album that I think will surprise people in terms of its maturity and musicality,” says Island ruler David Massey. “He has developed so rapidly that it is hard to believe that this young artist is 16—a remarkable talent. We are beyond proud of him.” 

“We’re really excited to introduce an incredible body of work from Shawn’s debut album, Handwritten,” agrees EVP/GM Eric Wong.  “Watching his growth over the last year has been beyond everyone’s expectations. With four iTunes #1s, this is just the beginning of a lifetime career.”  

 “In making Handwritten we hoped to really display Shawn's abilities as a songwriter,” manager Andrew Gertler adds, “and I think it really proves his staying power and place as a formidable new artist. This is just the beginning of his trajectory, and we can't wait to see the response to the album.”

“We only signed Shawn in June, and to see him now—his socials and ticket sales are through the roof,” Massey notes. “He sold 28k tickets in 90 seconds, before he’s even been on the radio. Everything thus far has been achieved with his music and star power, combined with fan engagement and creative, new-model marketing.”

Radio is the next frontier, with “Something Big” the lead single. Massey and team expect the radio picture to evolve after the album is released and Mendes gains the huge additional exposure afforded by the Swift tour. “People don’t yet understand the power of his fan base,” says Massey. “It’s remarkable and sizable. And I think with Taylor he’s going to win a whole bunch of new fans, and that will help cross him over.

“I’ve got very high hopes for him,” Massey adds. “He’s a rising star.”

Live shots above right by Josiah Van Dien

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