Shawn Mendes is an 18-year-old singer. You may recognize his song, "Stitches" which currently has more than 500 million views on YouTube. He is also on the cover of this month's Billboard, and is profiled with a lengthy feature about his career, his personal life, and his fans. Like most millennial musicians, Mendes relies heavily on his social media to communicate with his fanbase and create a positive environment for his (primarily teen-aged) fans to interact with him. While most young musicians on the brink of success would be overjoyed to be featured on the cover of a magazine, Mendes is not. He's angry and pissed off and just from the title of the piece — "Shawn Mendes Opens Up About How His Fans Don't Truly Know Him & Why Romance After Fame Is 'Impossible'." "Fans don't truly know him." Yikes. I mean, it's true. He has 13 million Instagram followers. They do not know him as a person. But, in the context of his "I love my fans" portion of his career (one that his contemporary, Justin Bieber, has boycotted) this is an upsetting claim, he says. Mendes' issue with the story lies with his quotes about his fans. "You're one person," he told the Billboard reporter, talking about having to constantly entertain fans. "You can't let them take everything from you. Because they will — not in a malicious way. They just love you. You have to be careful." He's also quoted saying that some nights he meets up to 900 fans after a show, and that he has a "switch" that he turns on, which helps him feign interest for the hundreds of teens lined up just to take a picture with him. Mendes took to Twitter just hours after the story was released to essentially take back everything he said (including this line: "People know me but they have no idea.") What followed was a flood of apologies.
He also recorded a series of videos on Snapchat, talking directly into the camera. He looks upset, and sort of like he had been crying. He is a kid after all. He started by saying he wanted to clear up a few things about the article. "I am not the person they made me out to be in that article," he said, adding, "I am so ridiculously grateful for everything you guys do for me." Don't worry, though. His fans have already forgiven him.
They are also now trolling the Billboard Twitter account in an attempt to call them out for their "bullshit" story.
Hell hath no fury like a fan scorned.