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Harry Styles

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Harry Styles
Harry Styles November 2014.jpg
Styles in 2014
Born Harry Edward Styles
(1994-02-01) 1 February 1994 (age 24)
Redditch, Worcestershire, England
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • actor
Years active 2010–present
Home town Holmes Chapel, Cheshire, England
Net worth £50 million[1]
Musical career
  • Vocals
  • guitar
Associated acts

Harry Edward Styles[2] (born 1 February 1994) is an English singer, songwriter, and actor. He rose to stardom as a member of the boy band One Direction. Styles grew up in Holmes Chapel, Cheshire, where he was the lead singer in a band. In 2010, Styles auditioned as a solo contestant for the British music competition series The X Factor, where he and four other contestants were placed in a group to form One Direction. They have since released five albums, embarked on four world tours, and won several awards, becoming one of most successful musical groups of all time.

Five months after One Direction went on indefinite hiatus in January 2016, Styles signed a solo record deal with Columbia Records. His debut single, "Sign of the Times", was released in April 2017, reaching number one in the UK and number four in the US. Its music video earned him a Brit Award. His self-titled debut album was released in May 2017, debuting atop the UK and US charts and received a generally positive critical reception. Styles made his film debut in Christopher Nolan's war film Dunkirk (2017).

Early life

Harry Edward Styles was born in Redditch, Worcestershire on 1 February 1994.[3] He is the son of Anne Cox (née Selley) and Desmond "Des" Styles, who worked in finance.[4][5][6] Many of his ancestors were farm labourers in Norfolk.[7] Styles was raised in Holmes Chapel, Cheshire, after his parents moved there along with his older sister, Gemma,[8] when he was a child.[2] He attended Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School.[9] Styles's parents divorced when he was seven and his mother later was remarried to Robin Twist;[10] he died in 2017.[11] He has an older stepbrother named Mike and a stepsister named Amy, children of Twist.[11] As a sixteen-year-old, he worked part-time at the W. Mandeville Bakery in Holmes Chapel.[12]

As a child, Styles loved singing, covering songs from Elvis Presley.[13] While at Holmes Chapel Comprehensive, Styles was the lead singer for the band White Eskimo, which won a local Battle of the Bands competition.[12][14]


2010–2015: The X Factor and One Direction

Styles (left) with One Direction on The X Factor Live Tour in 2011

Following a suggestion from his mother, on 11 April 2010, Styles auditioned as a solo candidate for the seventh series of the British televised singing competition The X Factor, singing a rendition of Stevie Wonder's "Isn't She Lovely".[15][5] He failed to progress to the "Boys" category at "judges' houses". Four others in his age group also failed, but at the suggestion by Nicole Scherzinger, a guest judge,[15] they were put together as an ensemble at Wembley Arena in July 2010, during the "bootcamp" stage of the competition,[16] thus qualifying for the "Groups" category. The group consisting of Styles, Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, and Zayn Malik, got together for two weeks to get to know one another and practise.[17][18] In 2017, Styles said he had suggested the name One Direction to his bandmates and they agreed to keep it.[19]

For their qualifying song at "judges' houses", and their first song as a group, One Direction sang an acoustic version of "Torn".[20] Simon Cowell later commented that the performance convinced him that the group "were confident, fun, like a gang of friends, and kind of fearless as well."[21] Within the first four weeks of the live shows, they were Cowell's last act in the competition.[22] The group quickly gained popularity in the UK.[21]

Styles on stage during the Up All Night Tour in 2012

One Direction finished in third place and immediately after the final, their song "Forever Young", which would have been released if they had won The X Factor, was leaked onto the internet.[23] Shortly afterwards it was confirmed that One Direction had been signed by Cowell to a reported £2 million Syco Records record contract.[24][25] Recording for their debut album began in January 2011, as they flew to Los Angeles to work with RedOne, a record producer.[26] A book licensed by One Direction, One Direction: Forever Young (Our Official X Factor Story), was published by HarperCollins in February 2011,[27] subsequently topping The Sunday Times Best Seller list.[28] The same month, the group and other contestants from the series participated in the X Factor Live Tour.[29] After the tour concluded in April 2011, the group continued working on their debut album.[26] Recording took place in Stockholm, London and Los Angeles, as One Direction worked with producers Carl Falk, Savan Kotecha, Steve Mac, and Rami Yacoub, among others.[30][31]

One Direction's debut single "What Makes You Beautiful" debuted at number one on the UK Singles Chart in September 2011.[32] The boy band released their first studio album, Up All Night, in November 2011. One Direction's second album, Take Me Home, was released in 2012.[33] Styles briefly dated American singer Taylor Swift in the year of its release,[5] leading to fan and media speculation about them writings songs about each other after their break-up.[5] Along with the other members of the band, Styles appeared in an episode of the teen sitcom iCarly in April 2012.[34] For a 20-month period, Styles lived in the attic of producer Ben Winston's home in Hampstead Heath, London, while Styles looked for his own house.[5]

One Direction: This Is Us, a documentary about the group directed by Morgan Spurlock, was released in August 2013.[35] The film grossed more than $30 million worldwide its first weekend in theaters.[36] The group's third studio album, Midnight Memories, was released on 25 November 2013.[37] One Direction released their fourth studio album, Four, in 2014 and Styles was credited as a writer on Ariana Grande's song "Just a Little Bit of Your Heart" from her album My Everything that year.[38][39] In August 2015, it was revealed the group would be going on hiatus after the release of their fifth album, Made in the A.M., in November 2015.[40][41] Styles said he first mentioned One Direction going on hiatus in 2014 while working in the studio, not wanting to "exhaust" the fan base.[5] The group has amassed five BRIT Awards[42] three NME awards,[43] two Kids' Choice Awards,[44] and four MTV Video Music Awards,[45] among other awards.

2016–present: Solo album and acting debut

In February 2016, Styles left the group's management company Modest Management and joined Jeffrey Azoff's Full Stop Management.[46] Styles launched his own record label, Erskine Records, in May and he signed a recording contract with Columbia Records as a solo artist, the same label behind One Direction, in June.[46][47] Styles wrote the song "Someday" in collaboration with Meghan Trainor for Michael Bublé's album Nobody but Me, released in October.[48] Recording for Styles' debut album took place throughout 2016; recording sessions locations included California, London, and the Gee Jam Hotel Recording Studio in Port Antonio, Jamaica for a two-month period in the autumn.[5] Jeff Bhasker executive produced the album, with Alex Salibian, Tyler Johnson, and Kid Harpoon serving as producers.[49] In March 2017, Styles announced his first solo single titled "Sign of the Times" and the song was released on 7 April,[50] reaching number one on the UK Singles Chart.[51] An accompanying music video for the song directed by Woodkid was also released, featuring Styles levitating and walking on water.[52][53] The song was variously described by critics as pop rock and soft rock ballad[54][55] with glam rock influences.[56] The album's second single, the folk rock ballad "Two Ghosts",[57] had a lesser impact commercially and peaked at No. 58 on the UK Singles Chart.[58] Styles was the musical guest on the American television program Saturday Night Live in mid-April and he made his first solo performance in his native country on The Graham Norton Show six days later.[59][60]

Styles during his first solo tour in Nashville in June 2018

His self-titled debut album was released on 12 May 2017,[61] whereupon it debuted at number one in several countries, including the UK, the US and Australia.[62] The record was heavily influenced by '70s soft rock and was described by Variety as a "classic cocktail of psychedelia, Britpop, and balladry".[63][64] It received generally favorable reviews from critics,[65][66] and was included in several publications' lists of the best albums of 2017.[67][68][69] The documentary Harry Styles: Behind the Album, chronicling the making of the album, was released on 15 May through Apple Music.[70] 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.[71][72] While on the tour, Styles continued to perform One Direction songs, as well as frequent covers of Fleetwood Mac's "The Chain".[73]

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.[74] He appeared alongside actors Fionn Whitehead, Jack Lowden, Aneurin Barnard, Tom Hardy, Mark Rylance, Cillian Murphy and Kenneth Branagh in the film.[75] Styles auditioned against hundreds of other candidates, ultimately winning the role, with Nolan saying he was unaware of the extent of his fame and that Styles earned the role "because he fit the part wonderfully and truly earned a seat at the table.”[76][77] The Telegraph film critic Robbie Collin praised Styles for his "bright, convicted, and unexpectedly not-at-all-jarring performance".[78]

BBC One broadcast Harry Styles at the BBC in November 2017, a one-hour special presented by Nick Grimshaw, featuring Styles performing songs from his album and interviews by Grimshaw.[79] His third single, "Kiwi" was released that month along with a music video and Styles performed the song on The X-Factor, marking his first solo performance on the show.[80][81] Styles guest hosted The Late Late Show with James Corden in December.[82] Along with Jack Antonoff and Ilsey Juber, Styles co-wrote "Alfie's Song (Not So Typical Love Song)" for the 2018 film Love, Simon.[83] Styles will serve as an executive producer for the sitcom Happy Together, an American sitcom inspired by Styles' time living with television producer Ben Winston.[84] In June, Styles modelled for a Gucci fashion campaign.[85]


Styles has cited country singer Shania Twain as his "main influence" both musically and in fashion.[86] He has also cited Pink Floyd, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, Harry Nilsson, Freddie Mercury, and Elvis Presley as being influences.[87][88][89] Styles praised Nilsson's lyrics as being "honest, and so good, and I think it’s because he’s never trying to sound clever.”[88] 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."[5] His music contain elements of soft rock, pop, folk, rock, and Britpop.[90][91][92][93]

Public image

Styles in February 2013

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."[94] 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.[95] During public appearances, Styles' fashion evolution has traded "teen-friendly" Jack Wills tracksuits for a selection of Saint Laurent, Gucci and Burberry.[96]

As his time in the band progressed, the singer started wearing skinny jeans and boots.[96] 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."[97] The same publication noted over the course of five-year stint with his 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."[98] In September 2016, Styles appeared on the cover of Another Man magazine, and was interviewed by Paul McCartney and Chelsea Handler,[99] prompting an editor from The Guardian to label the lack of shirtless-ness and the focus on fashion for a niche publication as the death of a "heartthrob" and birth of an "artthrob".[100] Promoting his solo projects during 2017, Styles opted for "candyfloss" pink suits, printed satin flares, gradually heightening heels, a style described as "flamboyant look."[96] Regarding his favouritism for pink, he quoted The Clash's Paul Simonon in an interview: "Pink is the only true rock & roll colour."[5] According to fashion designer Michael Kors, “Harry is the modern embodiment of British rocker style - edgy, flamboyant and worn with unapologetic swagger."[101]

He was ranked first and fifth in 2016 and 2017 respectively on British Vogue’s "The 50 Fittest Boys".[102][103] He was voted the "Sexiest Male in Pop" for 2016, 2017, and 2018 in a poll by British radio network Capital.[104][105][106] In 2018, Styles was voted fourth by British GQ on their list of "50 best-dressed men".[107]

Personal life

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.[108] Styles also dated American singer Taylor Swift in late 2012.[5] 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.[109]

Styles was named third on the 2018 Sunday Times Rich List of musicians in the UK under 30.[110] Styles has invested in the mindfulness app Calm, which features videos, games and audio to help users relieve stress, founded by UK entrepreneur Michael Acton Smith.[111]


Styles playing in The Niall Horan Charity Football Challenge in 2014

In 2013, Styles along with bandmate Liam Payne became ambassadors for the cancer charity Trekstock, and raised more than $800,000 through the online fundraising platform Prizeo.[112][113] In 2015, Styles sponsored water wells in India via Drop4Drop in support of Life Water's World Water Day campaign.[114] In 2016, Styles donated his hair to the UK charity Little Princess Trust, which supplies and funds high quality wigs made of real hair to children who have hair loss as a result of cancer treatment or other illnesses.[115] In 2017, to celebrate the release of his debut album, Styles played intimate shows at The Garage in London and at the Troubadour in Los Angeles, with all proceeds benefiting charities.[116][117][118] In October the same year, Styles alongside other artists performed at CBS Radio’s 5th Annual We Can Survive concert at the Hollywood Bowl, held in honour of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month with proceeds going to Young Survival Coalition.[119] By the end of his first tour in 2018, Styles had raised $1.2 million in charity donations from a portion of ticket and merchandise sales and Live Nation's contributions for 62 charities around the world.[120] During the tour, Styles led a major effort in water conservation that saved upwards of 13,000 single-use water bottles, and recycled more than 6,500 gallons of water from buses, dressing rooms and other backstage areas.[121]


Styles has supported various causes and social movements. He has been a long-standing advocate for equality and an ardent supporter of the LGBT community and is frequently seen waving the rainbow flag on stage.[122] 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.[123] Styles has also advocated for racial and gender equality and stricter gun control in the United States.[124][125][126]




Year Title Role Notes
2013 One Direction: This Is Us Himself Documentary concert film
2014 Where We Are – The Concert Film Himself Concert film
2017 Harry Styles: Behind the Album Himself Documentary
2017 Dunkirk Alex


Year Title Role Notes
2012 iCarly Himself Episode: "iGo One Direction"
2017 Saturday Night Live Himself / Mick Jagger / Civil War Soldier Episode: "Jimmy Fallon/Harry Styles"
2017 Harry Styles at the BBC Himself Television special
2017 The Late Late Show with James Corden Himself (host) Episode: "Owen Wilson/Jane Krakowski/Joel Edgerton/Seal"
2018 Happy Together Executive producer

Awards and nominations




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External links