Watch Shawn Mendes Relive Puberty-Induced Onstage Voice Cracks - Rolling Stone
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Watch Shawn Mendes Relive Puberty-Induced Onstage Voice Cracks

James Corden played highlight reel of teenage singer’s live flubs during ‘The Late Late Show’

Shawn Mendes became famous as a teenager, which had its literal highs and lows. Just as he conquered the pop world with hits like “Stitches,” he was forced to perform live in front of ravenous fans as his voice changed – often in real time. The singer laughed at the awkward memories on Tuesday’s Late Late Show, as James Corden unveiled a highlight reel of Mendes’ numerous onstage vocal cracks. “This is Shawn Mendes going through puberty in front of millions,” the host joked.

Before embarrassing the songwriter, Corden inquired about his evolution into a smooth falsetto technique. “I was obsessed with falsetto,” the vocalist said. “I worked with a coach for, like, three years to sing falsetto. Puberty, it’s a weird thing.” He added playfully, “You saw me at the beginning of puberty, halfway through. Now I’m a full grown man with chest hair.” 

The singer has always been honest with fans about his vocal struggles. In April 2015, he tweeted, “Was just informed that my voice is going through a second stage of puberty and that’s why i cant control falsetto. Pissed.”

Mendes, who is two nights deep into a week-long Late Late Show residency, had no trouble with voice cracks while performing his single “Lost in Japan” during the episode. The singer utilized his falsetto liberally on the funk-pop track, crooning over wah-wah bass and breezy piano.

“Lost in Japan” highlights Mendes’ recently issued self-titled LP, which also includes the singles “In My Blood,” “Youth,” “Where Were You in the Morning?” and “Nervous.”


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