Austin Mahone And Other Famous Musicians At 18
What did you do on your 18th birthday? Well, on Austin Mahone’s 18th birthday he announced the release date of his debut album and details of his upcoming tour. That means he’ll be spending his 19th year on the planet promoting his new music and performing all over North America. Judging from his popularity, he’ll probably be celebrating a number one album too.
The name of Mahone’s debut offering is The Secret and it will drop on May 27. His trek, dubbed “MTV’s Artist to Watch Tour 2014,”begins July 25 in San Antonio, Texas and ends Sept. 9 in Cleveland, Ohio. You’ll want to circle the following dates on your calendar: July 26, there’s an Austin Mahone concert in Houston; July 30, Austin Mahone performs in Los Angeles; and Aug. 13, there’s an Austin Mahone show in Toronto.
Austin Mahone’s insanely busy year ahead got everyone here at Musicology-101 thinking about famous musicians/singers and what they were doing during their second-to-last year as a teenager. Were they touring the globe like Mahone or were they trying to earn enough gas money to make it to Tower Records and back? Below, is a list of seven great artists as well as a brief description of their trials and tribulations as 18-year-olds.
Let’s start with the singer Austin Mahone is compared to the most, Justin Bieber. The Canadian pop star turned 18 on March 1, 2012. He had a fairly quite year. His released his highest charting single, “Boyfriend,” on March 23 (it peaked at number two). He released his third studio album, Believe, on June 15 (it went straight to number one). And he launched his second world tour, “The Believe Tour” on Sept. 29. Also in 2012, Forbes named Bieber the third-most powerful celebrity in the world.
Justin Timberlake has been around forever. Certainly, he had a big year at 18? He did. The future Mr. Biel was eligible to register for selective services beginning Jan. 31, 1999. At that time, his band ‘N Sync was between albums. Respectively, those albums were certified 10x and 11x Platinum. As an indicator of just how much the music business has changed, ‘N Sync’s debut offering stalled at number two. Timberlake spent a large portion of 1999 making Model Behavior. Released in 2000, the Disney Channel flick was Timberlake’s acting debut.
We’ve included John Lennon not because we’re comparing him to Austin Mahone, but because we were curious as to what a Beatle was doing as a teenager. Lennon turned 18 on Oct. 9, 1958. His birthday came in the wake of tragedy. Over the previous summer, his mother was struck and killed by an automobile. As an 18-year old, Lennon was working on getting thrown out of college, playing music with some kid named Paul McCartney, and fronting a skiffle band known as The Quarrymen. Also, Lennon wrote his first song, “Hello Little Girl.” It became a hit for The Fourmost in 1963.
Ten days into 1963, Rod Stewart celebrated his 18th trip around the sun. He spent the year supporting the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, getting deported from Spain for vagrancy, joining the band The Dimensions, and becoming a father for the first time (although his daughter was given up for adoption). Clearly, Stewart had a busy 19th year. Yet, the most significant happening in 1963 was Stewart implementing his patented, rooster-spike hairstyle. It’s impossible to think of Rod the Mod without it.
Billy Joel turned 18 on May 9, 1967. This was also the last year he attended high school. He never graduated because he spent most of his time tickling the ivories at piano bars. Later, Joel famously said “I’m not going to Columbia University, I’m going to Columbia Records.” Joel may have been a high school dropout but he could certainly predict the future. He signed with Columbia Records in 1972. Also in 1967, Joel left The Echoes to join The Hassles. The Hassles released four singles and a couple of albums but none made much of a splash.
It’s hard to imagine Morrissey as a teenager. One thing is for sure, he was probably mopey. Steven Patrick Morrissey celebrated his 18th birthday on May 22, 1977. As an 18-year-old singer, Morrissey joined the punk band The Nosebleeds. The group never released an album but it’s well known for not only Morrissey’s involvement but Billy Duffy’s too—Duffy would later gain fame as the lead guitarist of The Cult.
Slash blew out 18 candles on July 23, 1983. That same year he formed a band called Road Crew (named after a Motörhead song). Road Crew didn’t record an album, or even play a significant gig, but the project did introduce Slash to future Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan and created a riff that would eventually develop into “Rocket Queen.” It will be interesting to see if 18-year-old Austin Mahone meets anyone in the upcoming year that will become an integral part of his musical career.