It all happened in 6 seconds.
This week, Shawn Mendes’ debut record Handwritten tops the Billboard 200, with an impressive 119,000 copies sold. Mendes got his start covering pop songs in 6 second clips on Vine, building a massive social following in the process. Shawn Mendes isn’t the first musician to find breakthrough success on Vine, but he is the first to go #1 on Billboard. And he did it without any significant support from American pop radio.
Handwritten edged out the Furious 7 soundtrack, which only sold 79,000 units despite having the number one song in the United States. Reba McEntire's Love Somebody came in third, Tyler, the Creator's Cherry Bomb was fourth, and Halestorm's Into the Wild Life rounded out the top five. We witnessed Shawn Mendes’ growing popularity, when the high-pitched cheers garnered by his performance at the Junos left our eardrums decimated.
Incidentally, the 16-year-old Pickering, Ontario native is the youngest person to go #1 on Billboard in nearly five years, since a slightly younger 16-year-old Justin Bieber topped the chart in 2010 with My World 2.0. In that sense, Justin Bieber is to YouTube what Shawn Mendes is to Vine. One question remains: will this level of exposure catapult Mendes to a long stay atop the Billboard 200, or will he be a one-week-wonder?
Regardless, major label A&R reps are scouring Snapchat as we speak, looking to find the next big thing.
Check out a compilation of Shawn Mendes' Vine highlights below.