On the Charts: Shawn Mendes Climbs Vine to Number One - Rolling Stone
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On the Charts: Shawn Mendes Climbs Vine to Number One

Canadian singer turns Vine views into album sales as debut album ‘Handwritten’ tops the Billboard 200

Shawn MendesShawn Mendes

Vine star Shawn Mendes debuted at Number One on the Billboard 200 with his new album 'Handwritten.'

Ida Mae Astute/Getty

The music industry landscape is constantly shifting as CD sales and downloads are being forced out by streams and YouTube views and a new report says that Spotify is worth more than every major label combined. Even the mediums in which artists are discovered are changing as, for the first time, a singer who became famous from Vine has landed a Number One album on the Billboard 200. Shawn Mendes, the 16-year-old who gained a huge following recording cover songs on the app in 2013, debuted atop the charts with his first major label LP Handwritten.

Mendes’ collection of original songs sold 119,000 total units – a combination of traditional album sales, track equivalent album sales and streaming equivalent album sales – to make the singer the youngest artist to land at Number One since fellow Canadian Justin Bieber did it in May 2010 with My World 2.0, Billboard reports.

Mendes’ feat is an amalgamation of how success in the music industry has changed in the 21st century. He was discovered on Vine, cultivated a following on social media, racked up millions of views on YouTube and ultimately released a Number One album without any help from terrestrial pop radio, which all but ignored Mendes’ tracks according to Billboard’s airplay charts. Mendes’ “Life of the Party,” however, was at one point the most shared song on Twitter.

While the singer’s fanbase propelled him to Number One, it remains to be seen whether he’s a one-week wonder or will have the longevity of this week’s Number Two album, the Furious 7 soundtrack. Thanks largely to Wiz Khalifa’s Paul Walker tribute track “See You Again,” the soundtrack sold another 79,000 total copies this week, falling to the silver medal spot after spending last week at Number One.

Three new releases occupied spots Three through Five in the Top 10 as Reba McEntire’s Love Somebody placed third, Tyler, the Creator‘s quick-released Cherry Bomb finished fourth and Halestorm’s Into the Wild Life bowed in at five. For the first time since its release in late October, Taylor Swift’s 1989 was pushed out of the Top Five. 1989‘s Top Five reign lasted 24 weeks as Swift’s latest finished the week at Number Seven.


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