|Intro||English singer, songwriter, and actor|
|A.K.A.||Harry Edward Styles, هاري إدوارد ستايلز|
|Is||Singer Songwriter Actor Film actor Musician Guitarist|
|Type||Film, TV, Stage & Radio Music|
|Birth||1 February 1994, Redditch, Redditch, Worcestershire, United Kingdom|
Harry Edward Styles (born 1 February 1994) is an English singer, songwriter, and actor. His musical career began in 2010, when he auditioned for the British singing competition The X Factor. He was eliminated early on, but he was brought back to form the boy band One Direction. After the band's indefinite hiatus in 2016, Styles signed with Columbia Records as a solo artist.
In 2017, Styles released his debut solo single, "Sign of the Times", which topped the UK Singles Chart and peaked at number four on the Billboard Hot 100. It was named "Song of the Year" by Rolling Stone, while its music video earned Styles a Brit Award. His self-titled debut album was released later in the year, topping the charts in fourteen countries and ranking in several music critics' year-end lists. Styles made his acting debut in Christopher Nolan's war film Dunkirk (2017). His second album, Fine Line (2019), broke a record as the biggest sales debut from an English male artist in the US.
Harry Edward Styles was born on 1 February 1994 in Redditch, Worcestershire. He is the son of Anne Cox (née Selley) and Desmond "Des" Styles, who worked in finance. Many of his ancestors were farm labourers in Norfolk. Styles was raised in Holmes Chapel, Cheshire, after his parents moved there along with his older sister, Gemma, when he was a child. His earliest memory is of going to Disney World. Styles attended Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School. While at Holmes Chapel Comprehensive, he was the lead singer for the band White Eskimo, which won a local Battle of the Bands competition. Styles' parents divorced when he was seven and his mother later was remarried to Robin Twist, who died of cancer in 2017. Styles has an older stepbrother named Mike and a stepsister named Amy, children of Twist.
As a child, Styles recorded covers on a karaoke machine he was given by his grandad, and the first song he recorded was Elvis Presley's "The Girl of My Best Friend". As a sixteen-year-old, he worked part-time at the W. Mandeville Bakery in Holmes Chapel.
2010–2015: The X Factor and One Direction
Following a suggestion from his mother, on 11 April 2010, Styles auditioned as a solo contestant for the seventh series of the British televised singing competition The X Factor, singing a rendition of Stevie Wonder's "Isn't She Lovely". He advanced to bootcamp, but failed to progress to the "Boys" category at "judges' houses". Four others in his age group also failed, but they were put together as an ensemble in July 2010, during the "bootcamp" stage of the competition, thus qualifying for the "Groups" category. Nicole Scherzinger, a guest judge, and Simon Cowell have both claimed to have come up with the idea of forming the band. The group consisting of Styles, Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, and Zayn Malik, got together for two weeks to practise. Styles said he had suggested the name One Direction to his bandmates and they agreed to keep it. Within the first four weeks of the live shows, they were Cowell's last act in the competition. The group quickly gained popularity in the UK. In December 2010, One Direction finished The X Factor in third place behind Rebecca Ferguson and Matt Cardle, who won.
In January 2011, it was confirmed that One Direction had been signed by Cowell to a reported £2 million Syco Records record contract. One Direction's debut single, "What Makes You Beautiful", bowed at number one on the UK Singles Chart in September 2011, and their first studio album, Up All Night, was released two months later. One Direction became the first UK group to have their debut album reach number one in the United States. The album featured a multitude of writers, but included three songs written by Styles and his groupmates. In November 2012, One Direction released their second album, Take Me Home, which spawned the group's second number one single in the UK, "Little Things". Styles briefly dated American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift in the year of its release, leading to fan and media speculation about them writings songs about each other after their break-up. At around this period, Styles lived in the attic of producer Ben Winston's home in Hampstead Heath, London, for 20 months while he looked for his own house.
One Direction: This Is Us, a documentary and concert film about the group directed by Morgan Spurlock, was released in 2013. In November the same year, the group released their third album, Midnight Memories, which spawned the hit singles "Story of My Life" and "Best Song Ever", the former being the first song co-written by Styles to be released as a single. The album was the best-selling album of the year. Following the album's release, the band embarked on the Where We Are Tour which was the highest-grossing tour of 2014 and is still the highest-grossing tour of all time by a vocal group. Styles co-wrote the song "Just a Little Bit of Your Heart" for Ariana Grande's album, My Everything, released in August 2014. Later in November, One Direction released their fourth album, Four, which was the last to include Malik, due his exit from the group in early 2015. One Direction became the only group in the 58-year history of the Billboard 200 albums chart to have their first four albums debut at number one. In August 2015, the group confirmed rumours of an extended hiatus following the completion of their fifth album, Made in the A.M., and related promotional activities. Styles said he had suggested the hiatus in late 2014 while working in the studio, not wanting to "exhaust" the fan base. Over the course of their career, One Direction have sold 7.6 million albums and 26 million singles in the US, and amassed seven BRIT Awards, seven American Music Awards, six Billboard Music Awards, and four MTV Video Music Awards, among others.
2016–2018: Solo album and acting debut
In February 2016, Styles left One Direction's management company, Modest Management, and joined Jeffrey Azoff's Full Stop Management. Styles launched his own record label, Erskine Records, in May and signed a recording contract with Columbia Records as a solo artist, the same label behind One Direction, in June. Styles co-wrote the song "Someday" with Meghan Trainor for Michael Bublé's album, Nobody but Me, released in October. Recording for Styles' debut album took place throughout 2016 in Los Angeles, London, and Port Antonio, Jamaica, where Styles and his collaborators had a two-month writing retreat in the autumn. Jeff Bhasker executive produced the album, and Alex Salibian, Tyler Johnson, and Kid Harpoon served as producers. In March 2017, Styles announced his first solo single, "Sign of the Times", would be released on 7 April. The song subsequently peaked at number one on the UK Singles Chart and number four on the Billboard Hot 100. The song is a glam rock influenced soft rock power ballad, and has frequently drawn comparisons with the work of David Bowie. Rolling Stone ranked it as the best song of 2017. The song's music video featured him flying and walking on water, and won the Brit Award for British Video of the Year. In April, Styles was a musical guest on Saturday Night Live in the US and made his debut televised solo performance in his native country on The Graham Norton Show.
His self-titled debut album was released in May 2017, whereupon it debuted at number one in several countries, including the UK, US, and Australia. The record was heavily influenced by 1970s soft rock and was described by Variety as a "classic cocktail of psychedelia, Britpop, and balladry". The other singles from the album are "Two Ghosts" and "Kiwi". Harry Styles received generally favourable reviews from critics, and was included in several publications' lists of the best albums of 2017. The film, Harry Styles: Behind the Album, which documented the writing and recording process for the album, was released in May exclusively on Apple Music. In support of the album, Styles embarked on his first headlining concert tour, Harry Styles: Live on Tour, from September 2017 through to July 2018, performing in North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. The tour setlist included covers of Fleetwood Mac's "The Chain", several One Direction songs, as well as previously unreleased material.
Styles made his film debut in Christopher Nolan's war film Dunkirk, in July 2017 playing a British soldier named Alex who is a part of the Dunkirk evacuation in World War II. He appeared alongside an ensemble cast which included Fionn Whitehead, Tom Glynn-Carney, Jack Lowden, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance, and Tom Hardy. Styles beat out more than one hundred other candidates auditioning for the part; Nolan later stated he was unaware of the extent of his fame and that Styles was cast "because he fit the part wonderfully and truly earned a seat at the table." The Daily Telegraph film critic, Robbie Collin, praised Styles for his "bright, convicted, and unexpectedly not-at-all-jarring performance".
In November, BBC One broadcast Harry Styles at the BBC, a one-hour television special presented by Nick Grimshaw. Styles guest hosted The Late Late Show with James Corden in December. Together with Jack Antonoff and Ilsey Juber, Styles co-wrote "Alfie's Song (Not So Typical Love Song)", performed by the band Bleachers, for the soundtrack of the film Love, Simon (2018). Styles serves as an executive producer on the CBS sitcom Happy Together, which premiered in October 2018 and was inspired by Styles' time living with television producer Ben Winston. In 2018, Styles began modelling for Gucci, appearing in several campaigns for the luxury Italian brand.
2019–present: Fine Line and Love on Tour
"Lights Up", the lead single from Style's second album Fine Line, was released in October 2019, debuting in third place in the UK. The song features a "soft-touch re-entry into the pop slipstream" according to music writer Jon Caramanica. Styles performed "double duty" as host and musical guest on Saturday Night Live in November. He also once again guest hosted The Late Late Show with James Corden in December. Fine Line was released the same month, preceded by the second and third singles, "Watermelon Sugar" and "Adore You", which peaked respectively at numbers 17 and 7 in the UK. The album debuted at number three in the UK and topped the US charts, breaking the record as the biggest sales debut from an English male artist in the US. Fine Line was recorded at the Shangri-La studio in Malibu, California with the same production team behind Styles' debut album. It features a similar sound sonically to Harry Styles, while incorporating additional elements of funk and soul. At the 2020 Brit Awards, Styles was nominated for British Male Solo Artist and British Album of the Year. A tour to support the album, named Love On Tour, is scheduled to take place throughout 2020.
Musical style and influences
Styles' music contain elements of soft rock, pop, folk, rock, and Britpop. His musical style on his debut solo album was described as having an "intimately emotional Seventies soft-rock vibe" by Rolling Stone writer Rob Sheffield and "synthesis[ing] influences from the last half-century of rock" by Time magazine. Styles has cited country singer Shania Twain as his "main influence" both musically and in fashion. He has also cited Pink Floyd, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, Harry Nilsson, Freddie Mercury, Queen and Elvis Presley as influences. Styles praised Nilsson's lyrics as being "honest, and so good, and I think it's because he's never trying to sound clever." Upon listening to Pink Floyd's 1973 album The Dark Side of the Moon as a child, he said he "couldn't really get it, but I just remember being like – this is really fucking cool."
Regarding Styles' time in One Direction, AllMusic writer Tim Sendra opined his "charming persona and elastic vocals had him positioned as the Timberlake of the group." Styles seemed "a dimpled, rakish prankster happy to wear the mantle of Class Clown... maybe because he knew that Most Likely to Succeed belonged to him too," said Entertainment Weekly's Leah Greenblatt. During public appearances, Styles' fashion evolution has traded "teen-friendly" Jack Wills tracksuits for a selection of Saint Laurent, Burberry and Gucci, appearing in a number of campaigns for the latter.
As his time in the band progressed, the singer started wearing skinny jeans and boots. For Billboard's Chris Payne, "From his influences to his fashion to his onstage persona to his (formerly) flowing locks, Styles' vibe has always screamed rock star." The same publication noted over the course of his five-year stint with the group, Styles' taste in fashion "has blossomed from a teen wearing purple Jack Wills hoodies to a carefully executed blend of '70s rock with a glamorous magpie feel." In September 2016, Styles appeared on the cover of Another Man magazine, prompting an editor from The Guardian to label the lack of shirtlessness and the focus on fashion for a niche publication as the death of a "heartthrob" and birth of an "artthrob". During his debut solo album promotions in 2017, Styles opted for "candyfloss" pink suits, printed satin flares, gradually heightening heels, a style described as "flamboyant look". Regarding his favouritism for pink, he quoted The Clash's Paul Simonon in an interview: "Pink is the only true rock & roll colour." According to fashion designer Michael Kors, "Harry is the modern embodiment of British rocker style: edgy, flamboyant and worn with unapologetic swagger."
He was ranked first and fifth in 2016 and 2017 respectively on British Vogue's "The 50 Fittest Boys". He was voted the "Sexiest Male in Pop" for 2016, 2017, and 2018 in a poll by British radio network Capital. In 2018, Styles was voted fourth by British GQ on their list of "50 best-dressed men".
Styles was in a relationship with The Xtra Factor presenter Caroline Flack from November 2011 to January 2012, which caused controversy and criticism over their 14-year age gap. Styles also dated American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift later in 2012, and model Camille Rowe for a year until 2018. He resides in London.
Styles believes in karma. When Chelsea Handler asked if he believes in God, he responded "I feel like anyone who says, 'I'm spiritual' sounds a little wanky. But yeah, I definitely consider myself to be more spiritual than religious. I'm not super tied-in to certain rules but I think it's naïve to say nothing exists and there's nothing above us or more powerful than us. I think that's a little narrow-minded." He added "I definitely think there's something, that it's not just us. It's kind of crazy to think that it's just us."
Styles has dozens of tattoos and had the words "Late Late" tattooed onto his arm during an appearance on The Late Late Show with James Corden in 2015. In May 2019, Styles was named second on the Sunday Times Rich List of musicians in the UK under 30, with an estimated net worth of £58 million, having previously featured third on the previous year's list.
Styles' sexuality has long been a subject of speculation. When questioned during a GQ interview whether he was bisexual, Styles responded: "I'm pretty sure I'm not." He later affirmed in 2017 that he did not "feel any need to label his sexuality or identify with one sexual orientation." In December 2019, when asked about his flamboyant image and sexual ambiguity, Styles stated:
"Am I sprinkling in nuggets of sexual ambiguity to try and be more interesting? No. [...] in terms of how I wanna dress, and what the album sleeve’s gonna be, I tend to make decisions in terms of collaborators I want to work with. I want things to look a certain way. Not because it makes me look gay, or it makes me look straight, or it makes me look bisexual, but because I think it looks cool. And more than that, I dunno, I just think sexuality’s something that’s fun. Honestly? I can’t say I’ve given it any more thought than that."
Philanthropy and activism
In 2013, Styles along with One Direction member Liam Payne became ambassadors for the cancer charity Trekstock, and raised more than $800,000 through the online fundraising platform Prizeo. In 2015, Styles sponsored water wells in India via Drop4Drop in support of Life Water's World Water Day campaign. In 2016, Styles donated his hair to the UK charity Little Princess Trust, which supplies and funds wigs made of real hair to children who have hair loss as a result of illnesses. In May 2017, to celebrate the release of his debut album, Styles played intimate shows at The Garage in London and the Troubadour in Los Angeles, with all proceeds benefiting charities. In October 2017, Styles alongside other artists performed at CBS Radio's We Can Survive concert at the Hollywood Bowl for breast cancer awareness. Styles' first tour raised $1.2 million in charity donations from ticket sales, Live Nation's contributions, and GLSEN's Pride campaign toward 62 charities around the world. It also promoted water conservation via recycling and reducing plastic water bottle usage.
Styles has showed support to the LGBT community by waving the rainbow flag on stage, wearing LGBT-themed clothing and supporting LGBT fans in concerts. In 2018, he released T-shirts with the slogan "Treat People With Kindness" in a rainbow print in celebration of Pride Month, with all proceeds benefiting GLSEN. He has also added "Black Lives Matter" and "End Gun Violence" stickers to his guitar. He tweeted in support of the March for Our Lives petition and actress Emma Watson's HeForShe gender equality campaign. In December 2019, Styles said in response to not using his influence more to support specific causes:
"Because of dilution. Because I’d prefer, when I say something, for people to think I mean it. To be honest, I’m still searching for that one thing, y’know. Something I can really stand up for, and get behind, and be like: This Is My Life Fight. There’s a power to doing the one thing. You want your whole weight behind it."
- Harry Styles (2017)
- Fine Line (2019)
Awards and nominations
- Harry Styles: Live on Tour (2017–18)
- Love On Tour (2020)