Meet Austin Mahone, The Justin Bieber-Inspired YouTube Star

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Somewhere in between re-promoting the disgusting "Two Girls One Cup" and reminding us all that it's National Cupcake Day, Twitter has helped one name you may have previously been unfamiliar with rise to prominence today. Meet Austin Mahone, the 15-year-old aspiring heartthrob who already has nearly 320,000 Twitter followers and an official nickname for his fanbase (hello, "Mahomies"). But who is he, anyway? As is common this day and age, the youngin' grew from a modest Texan upbringing—his father died when he was just a baby, his mother raised him on her own—to moderate local celebrity when he began covering popular songs on YouTube in January. In almost a year he's gained 290,422 subscribers, and from his heavy bang-age, penchant for shiny bling and two earrings, it's easy to tell that he's borrowed some moves from Justin Bieber. Mahone himself has said he hopes to one day meet and/or work with the 17-year-old powerhouse, but admits that "even a follow or tweet would be amazing." Gotta love a modest, braces-wearing realist. Mahone's rise to prominence this year has lead to his first concert in Houston in late November, and most importantly, abundant recognition at his high school. "I'm overjoyed and excited and happy,” he told “I've always liked music, and this is something I've always wanted to do."

Scrolling through Mahone's blog reveals covers of Lil Wayne's "How To Love"—also a Bieber move—and his own Subway commercial—because why not? His most recent project is a version of Bieber's "Mistletoe" video, which boasts five million views since October 26 and is basically the epitome of pop music eating itself. Mahone's grandmother and mother helped him recreate the new holiday classic, which is actually the sweetest thing we've read all day as we picture the women encouraging their future mealticket pop star to deliver those longing stares and poignant chest grabs he's been spent hours in front of the bathroom mirror perfecting. Whether or not he becomes the next Cody Simpson, it's hard not to at least hope he snags some free tickets to an upcoming Bieber show. Are you rolling with Mahomies? Check out his Bieber impression below.

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