Year in Music 2015

The No. 1s: Shawn Mendes Says 'Sometimes My Fans Know Me Better Than I Know Myself'

Island Records
Smallz and Raskind 

From left: Eric Wong, Andrew Gertler, David Massey, Shawn Mendes, Pete Wentz, Joe Trohman, Patrick Stump, Andy Hurley of Fall Out Boy and Jonathan Daniels photographed on Nov. 20, 2015 at Tunnel Bar in Sherman Oaks, Calif.

1 Week On The Billboard 200

1 Week On The Billboard 200

In February 2013, Fall Out Boy had just announced its return from a nearly three-year hiatus, Shawn Mendes was a ninth grader who had yet to discover a new app called Vine, and Island Records was still Island Def Jam. Flash forward to 2015, and Fall Out Boy -- Patrick Stump, 31; Pete Wentz, 36; Joe Trohman, 31; and Andy Hurley, 35 -- and Mendes, 17, are two of the top acts for Island, which has been on a hot streak since its split from Def Jam in April 2014.



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ANDREW GERTLER, manager (Mendes): Shawn created a foundation most artists don’t have: There were Shawn Mendes fans before he had even put out a debut single. But the whole notion of “Vine star” went away as soon as he started having radio success.

DAVID MASSEY, president, Island Records: When I met Shawn he sang me some songs, and I knew within the first two minutes he was a star.

GERTLER One day Shawn posted a video of him applying some skin cream to his face and I immediately texted him, “Hey, dude, was that really necessary?” Ten minutes later it became one of the most-liked things on his Instagram.

MENDES Sometimes it feels like my fans know me better than I know myself.

GERTLER More and more, social media is how artists are discovered. But to have staying power -- that’s about the artist and who they are.

Shawn Mendes' 'Stitches' Hits No. 1 on Pop Songs Chart

ERIC WONG, executive vp/GM, Island Records: Shawn had a No. 1 album in April and No. 1 [radio] single in November. It’s an amazing feat for a new artist.

JONATHAN DANIEL, partner, Crush Management: Fall Out Boy is one of the few new-generation rock bands that does real arena concerts, with explosions and hit songs.

MASSEY Other bands of their stature have fallen by the wayside, but Fall Out Boy have managed to stay relevant and keep their fans with them.

DANIEL They are absolutely fearless. In the course of a couple of weeks, they released “Irresistible” with Demi Lovato, played the Country Music Association Awards with Thomas Rhett and put out a remix album with Meek Mill and A$AP Ferg.

WENTZ This whole thing is an art project, and that sometimes means turning right, even when the GPS said to turn left.

Billboard Year in Music 2015

This story originally appeared in the Dec. 19 issue of Billboard.