A new Canadian pop sensation took the stage at the MTV Video Music Awards and his name is Shawn Mendes. The singer-songwriter who shot to fame thanks to Twitter’s now-defunct Vine performed his hit “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back” in his debut MTV VMAs performance. Check out the video below.
In a pre-show interview with MTV News, the 19-year-old Mendes promised an “alternative ending” to the song and said he might hit a high note. “There’s this possibility that I’m going to hit a very high note, but it’s [a] possibility, if I’m like really obviously confident up there, I’ll go for it. But obviously if I’m not, I probably will shy away,” the singer said. However, he hopes that his fans will still be excited by the performance. It will be a “game-time decision.”
Mendes was nominated for two awards this year. “Treat You Better” was nominated for Best Pop, while “There’s Nothing Holdin’ Me Back” was nominated for Song of the Summer.
Mendes has been successful at other award shows. In 2016, he won Favorite Breakout Artist at the People’s Choice Awards. He also won Favorite New Artist at the 2016 Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards and Favorite Male Singer the following year. He’s also won four iHeartRadio Much Music Video Awards and has been nominated for six iHeartRadio Music Awards.
Even though he’s only 19, Mendes already has two No. 1 albums. Handwritten featured the hits “Something Big” and “Stitches,” while last year’s Illuminate featured “Treat You Better” and “Mercy.” Mendes is still on tour to support Illuminate, with an Australia/Asia leg still scheduled for this winter.
With most of his Illuminate tour behind him, Mendes has really learned how to play for a large crowd.
“City by city it’s definitely louder, but it’s up to you to make it so that [the audience is] more responsive. You have to work the crowd,” Mendes recently told Forbes. “Sometimes I get more excited for shows that I know are going to be quieter because it gets me more inspired to be more of a showman and be more of an entertainer and forces me to work harder.”