About a fortnight back, Shawn Mendes announced he was cancelling the rest of his Wonder worldwide tour to prioritise his mental health and take some more time off for himself. While Mendes will be using this period to heal and ground himself, he has also promised to make new music – which is what fans will be waiting for when he comes back stronger.
The Canadian singer-songwriter, who rose to fame by posting song covers on Vine, turns 24 today. While we love his first single, Life of the Party, which made him the youngest person to have a top 25 debut single on the US Billboard 100 in 2014, here are five songs to tune into and celebrate Shawn Mendes.
A part of Mendes’ second album Illuminate, in 2016, Mercy is heartfelt and emotional both lyrically and visually. While the music video shows Mendes struggling to free himself from a drowning car, the lyrics talk of setting him free from a love that is tearing him apart. The contrast makes for a dark but beautiful analogy of heartbreak and pain.
There’s Nothing Holding Me Back
With over a billion views, There’s Nothing Holding Me Back is a fan favourite for its peppy beat and the theme of the heady rush of falling in love. The song was released as a single in 2017 and added to the reissue of the Illuminate album when it became a hit. The video shows Mendes exploring Paris and other places with a girl by his side, and fan theory says that it actually showed Shawn falling in love with a fan.
Senorita was the second collaboration between Mendes and Cuban-American singer Camila Cabello. The two had been linked up for quite some time since their first song, I Know What You Did Last Summer. The steamy Senorita talks of a hush-hush relationship between the two that is definitely more than a friendship. Mendes and Cabello broke up in 2021 after more than two years of dating, stating that they would “continue to be best friends”. Their breakup hasn’t stopped Senorita from garnering over two billion views, and it is definitely one of Mendes’ most popular song collaborations.
Mendes’ second most popular song, Stitches, is about the experience of going through an emotional wringer. With almost 1.5 billion views, the song climbed to the number one spot on the Mainstream Top 40 chart in 2015. Stitches is catchy, with the video showing Mendes in pain and struggling with his feelings. It was also nominated for Choice Music Single: Male artist for the 2015 Teen Choice awards.
Treat You Better
Treat You Better, released as part of the Illuminate album in 2016, became an earworm, peaking at no. 6 on the Billboard charts. The video shows Mendes struggling with his feelings for a girl and trying to show her how she deserves better. Mendes had even revealed in his Netflix documentary, Shawn Mendes: In Wonder (2020), that he had written the song as a tribute to Camila Cabello before they had even started dating.