Sun. May 26th, 2024

Image: Shawn Mendes photographed by Miranda McDonald

The music world has seen some of the greatest recording artists come and go throughout the last few decades. Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber and Ed Sheeran are all singers that have achieved decorated careers that continue to thrive. Shawn Mendes was arguably reaching this exclusive status as a recording artist. However, in the past year fans have all been asking the same question: what happened to Shawn Mendes?  

After blowing up on Vine, the Canadian-born singer signed his first record deal with Island Records. At 15, Mendes released his debut single, “Life of the Party,” which would become his first chart-topping hit. The rising star would go on to release four full studio albums and 25 singles. Mendes’ success made way for his four worldwide tours that he performed throughout the years 2016–2019. After releasing his fourth studio album in 2020, the “Wonder” world tour was Shawn’s next step in making a name for himself again. The once top-charting artist played his first seven shows before postponing the next two weeks due to mental health issues. Fans would have to wait a little longer to see Mendes in action again with his so-called “break.” The star would eventually cancel the rest of his world tour to focus on himself and his well-being. 

So, what caused Shawn Mendes to leave the spotlight?  

Since 2022, Mendes has always prioritized his mental health over everything. This is the reason why he decided to cancel 40 of his upcoming shows that year. It has always been difficult for the Canadian native to be away from home given the fact he’s been doing it ever since he was 16 years old. He’s mentioned that the pressure caught up to him and that he’s hit a breaking point. Mendes also mentioned with the Wall Street Journal about how he’s taken steps to get where he wants to be. Although the process may be difficult, he stated that it includes a lot of therapy and trying to understand how he was feeling at certain points. He would then take the necessary steps in order to find that feeling he’s been looking for. However, the singer’s mental health has not been the only headline above his name within recent years.  

Unless you live under a rock, you know that the Canadian pop star once dated ex-Fifth Harmony member and “Havana” hit singer, Camila Cabello. The two would share songs “I Know What You Did Last Summer” in 2015 and “Señorita” in 2019. The pair began dating in 2019 before parting ways in November 2021. When asked about their relationship, Cabello stated that, “I think that as I get older, the priorities shift. And I feel like that was the way for the both of us.” So, how did Mendes deal with the breakup? You tell me. The singer would release his single, “It’ll Be Okay,” weeks after the couple released a joint statement regarding their relationship status. The song and its lyrics would have fans speculate whether their favorite Canadian artist is “actually okay.” The chorus of the song gives the listener a good idea of how Mendes feels about the whole situation. With the ending, “I will love you either way,” fans see now that things are truly over with the two. A few months later, another heartfelt song was released by the singer called, “When You’re Gone.” This would be Mendes’ only non-movie associated song of the 2022 calendar year while writing and voicing for “Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile.” The song would be a wakeup call for the singer as he would find his true feelings about the split. In a Genius interview, Mendes mentioned how it wasn’t until a month after the pair broke up that things started to become clear to him. It is clear to us now that Mendes was still shaken up from the past and wanted to air out his feelings.  

After two years of scarce content from Mendes, every fan of his is wondering when he will come back into the spotlight. Mendes has recently made guest appearances at Ed Sheeran and Noah Kahan concerts, but as of now there’s no other signs as to whether he is ready to come back full time.  

It makes you “Wonder” how the music world will react to Shawn Mendes’ return to the big stage. 


Billy Mills is a third-year Media & Culture major with minors in Communication Studies and Music Production.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *