Austin Mahone has been dubbed the "Baby Bieber." With more than one million Twitter followers, hoards of female fans and a new deal with a record label, he is well on his way to giving Bieber a run for his money.
Mahone has scored a seven-figure deal -- somewhere in the ballpark of $3 million to $4 million -- with Chase Records through Universal Republic, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Universal Republic is home to Florence + The Machine, Owl City and the late Amy Winehouse. The "360 deal" reportedly includes profit sharing in merchandising, publishing, licensing and, of course, recorded music, in addition to other ancillary revenue, THR reports.
Mahone tweeted the news to his million-plus followers with a photo of his mom and members of his new label:
The BIG NEWS is that I'm officially signed to a record label!!!(: Chase/Universal Republic!! twitter.com/AustinMahone/s…
— Austin Mahone (@AustinMahone) August 28, 2012
His message was retweeted more than 7,000 times.
The 16-year-old "Baby Bieber" is actually quite similar to the Canadian popstar.
Hailing from small town La Vernia, Tex., Mahone got his start on YouTube. On his channel, the singer posts videos of himself covering songs by Justin Timberlake, Kelly Clarkson, Bruno Mars and, yes, even Bieber. He currently has more than 83 million video views and nearly 500,000 subscribers.
THR profiled Mahone for the June issue of the magazine revealing intimate details about the young singer's life.
Like Bieber, Mahone was largely raised by his mother, and the two currently reside with his maternal grandparents in Florida since his mom split from Mahone's stepfather, according to THR.
His celebrity also parallels Bieber in that he has a direct, personal connection with fans. He Skypes and tweets fans and mentions them in YouTube videos.
Despite the similarities between the two young singers, Mahone says he's no copycat. THR's Jenny Eliscu reports:
While that floppy-haired pop star is obviously a role model — as evidenced by Mahone’s straight-up pop voice with a little R&B crooning thrown in, and even his wavy hair with its Bieber-like swoop — Mahone doesn’t see it that way and has demurred that he’s “not trying to copy Justin Bieber” on descriptions of his first videos. Yet a Bieber doll stands on a shelf in the corner — “I didn’t buy that,” the 5-foot-9 greeneyed teen says, blushing...
Mahone is already rubbing elbows with some big names in the music biz, including DJ Khaled.
"I met Birdman. I met DJ Khaled," he told MTV News. "I'd like to work with Drake. I'm a big fan of Drake, and that'd be pretty cool."