Harry Styles is an English-born singer who rose to fame as one of the five members of the boy band ‘One Direction.’ He became one of the best-selling boy bands of all time before launching his solo career in 2016.
Who is Harry Styles?
Harry Styles is an English actor, singer, and songwriter who began his musical career in 2010 as a solo contestant on the UK television show ‘The X Factor.’ He was brought back to join the boy band One Direction following his elimination from the British music competition series. One Direction became a pop music sensation, delivering hits like “Story of My Life,” “Night Changes,” and “Best Song Ever,” among others.
In 2017, Harry Styles released a solo album through Columbia Records. The album debuted at number one in the US and UK. It also became one of the world’s top-ten best-selling albums of the year. Styles made his second album, Fine Line, in 2019. It’s the most recent album to be included in Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Albums of All Time” in 2020.
Styles made his acting appearance in Christopher Nolan’s 2017 war film Dunkirk. He has received numerous accolades, including an American Music Award, an Ivor Novello Award, a Grammy Award, and two Brit Awards. Aside from making music and acting, Styles is also famous for his flamboyant fashion. He appeared solo on the Vogue cover.
Harry Styles was on 1 February 1994, in Redditch, Worcestershire, in the West Midlands region of England. His parents Desmon “Dess” Styles, a finance worker, and landlady Anne Twist divorced when Styles was seven years old. Anne Twist, Style’s mother, remarried business partner John Cox but divorced years later. Styles has an older step-brother called Mike and a step-sister named Amy, through her mother’s subsequent marriage in 2013 to Roobin Twist, who died of cancer in 2017.
Styles attended the Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School. He was the lead singer for the band White Eskimo while at school. His grandfather gave him a karaoke machine, which he used to sing covers as a child. Styles worked part-time at the W. Mandeville Bakery in Holmes Chapel when he was 16.
The X Factor
In April 2010, when he was 16 years old, Harry Styles auditioned as a single contestant for the seventh series of the British competition The X factor, following his mother’s suggestion. In a later round, he sang Train’s “Hey, Soul Sister” as his audition song and Oasis’s “Stop Crying Your Heart Out” in a later round. However, Styles failed to progress further along with four others in his age group.
Judges Nicole Scherzinger and Simon Cowell put Styles together with the other four competitors, Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne, and Niall Horan, to form a new group act for the remainder of the competition. Styles suggested the name One Direction for a newly formed band. The band gained considerable popularity in the UK and eventually reached the final of The X Factor and finished in third place.
Among the other four members, Styles was the youngest member of One Direction. He was admired for his curly hair, wide smile, and sweet-yet-naughty demeanor. The band signed a recording contract with Cowell’s label Syco Records in January 2011. Later that year, One Direction released their UK number one single debut, “What Makes You Beautiful,” and their debut studio album, Up All Night, which contained three songs co-written by Styles. Up All Night was a best seller in both the United States and the United Kingdom the following year.
In 2012, One Direction released another studio album- Take Me Home, and four other succeeding albums- Midnight Memories (2013), Four (2014), and Made in the A.M. (2015)- all debuted at number one in the United Kingdom. Midnight Memories became one of the world’s bestselling album in 2013. The albums spawned a number of successful singles, including “History,” “Story of My Life,” “Best Song Ever,” “Drag Me Down,” “Little Things,” and “Live While We’re Young.” In 2014, Styles co-wrote the song “Just a Little Bit of Your Heart” for Ariana’s 2014 album “My Everything.”
Harry Styles made his feature film debut in Christoper Nolan’s 2017 World War II action-thriller Dunkirk. The film focuses on the British evacuation of the French city of Dunkirk during WWII. Styles play a soldier in the film. Nolan revealed that Styles was cast in ‘Dunkirk’ because he has an “old-fashioned face.”
In October 2019, Styles released his second album, Fine Line, which debuted at number three in the UK. “Lights Up” became the lead single on the album. According to music writer Jon Caramanica, Style’s song featured a “soft-touch re-entry into the pop slipstream.” The album was recorded at the Shangri-La studio in Malibu, California. It received many positive reviews from critics. Singer-songwriter Stevie Nicks likened Fine Line to Fleetwood Mac’s album Rumours and stated that it inspired her to write new music. Five other singles, “Golden,” “Watermelon Sugar,” “Falling,” and “Treat People with Kindness,” were released from the album.
While in One Direction, Harry Style wore skinny jeans, sheer blouses, floral prints, flamboyant suits, and heeled boots. Nicole Saunders of Billboard commented that Style’s fashion had “blossomed from a teen wearing purple Jack Wills hoodies to a carefully executed blend of ‘70s rock with a glamorous magpie feel” over the group’s five-year stint.” AllMusic writer Tim Sendra noted that Style’s “charming persona and elastic vocals had him positioned as the Timberlake of the One Direction group.” Styles began collaborating with stylist Harry Lambert during the band’s 2014 Four eras. Another Man magazine featured Styles in 2016.
Styles opted for “candyfloss” custom pink suits, printed satin flares, sequined tops, and gradually heightened heels as a solo artist. Describing his change in style, Vanity Fair’s Erika Hardwood commented that Styles went from “boy-bander” to “luxury suit connoisseur.” His style was noted as “fun,” “fashion-forward,” and “flamboyant.” Ann Powers of NPR wrote that Harry Style’s fashion recalls the Spice Girls’ “theatrical parade through pop’s sartorial heritage” and that he “comforts with fashion’s way of telling stories through artful accessories.”
At the beginning of his career, Styles lived in producer Ben Winston’s attic home in Hampstead Heath, London, for 20 months while he searched for his own house. He now owns a loft apartment in Manhattan. Styles considers himself more spiritual. When Chelsea Handler asked if he believes in God, he stated that he believes he is “more spiritual than religious” and that it is “naive to say nothing exists and there’s nothing above us or more powerful than us.”
Styles dated television presenter Caroline Flack from November 2011 to January 2012. Their relationship sparked controversy since Flack was 14 years older than Styles. Later in 2012, Styles dated American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift briefly. His relationship with Swift led to fan and media speculation about them writing songs about each other after their breakup.
Styles was in a relationship with French-American model Camille Rowe from 2017 to 2018. Rowe inspired Style’s 2019 album Fine Line. Styles has been in a relationship with actress and director Olivia Wilde since January 2021.