Harry Styles

Harry Styles
Harry Styles November 2014.jpg
Styles in 2014
Harry Edward Styles

(1994-02-01) 1 February 1994 (age 26)
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • actor
Years active 2010–present
Net worth £63 million
Awards Full list
Musical career
Origin Holmes Chapel, Cheshire, England
Instruments Vocals
Associated acts
Website hstyles.co.uk
Autographed signature of Harry Styles in ink

Harry Edward Styles (born 1 February 1994) is an English singer, songwriter and actor. Born in Redditch, Worcestershire, his musical career began in 2010 as a solo contestant on the British music competition series The X Factor. Following his elimination early on, he was brought back to join the boy band One Direction, which went on to become one of the best-selling boy bands of all time.

After the band's indefinite hiatus in 2016, Styles released his self-titled debut album through Columbia Records the following year. It was certified platinum in the US, while its lead single, "Sign of the Times", topped the UK Singles Chart. He made his acting debut in Christopher Nolan's 2017 war film Dunkirk. Styles' second album, Fine Line (2019) debuted atop the US Billboard 200 and had the biggest sales debut from an English male artist in the US. It also yielded the single "Watermelon Sugar", which topped the US Billboard Hot 100.

Throughout his career, Styles has been nominated for three Brit Awards, winning one, and received an ARIA Music Award. Other than his music, Styles is also known for his flamboyant fashion.

Early life

Harry Edward Styles was born on 1 February 1994 in Redditch, Worcestershire,[1] the son of Anne Cox (née Selley) and finance worker Desmond "Des" Styles.[2][3][4] When he was a child, Styles moved with his parents and older sister Gemma to Holmes Chapel, Cheshire.[5] He attended Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School.[6] While at Holmes Chapel Comprehensive, he was the lead singer for the band White Eskimo, which won a local Battle of the Bands competition.[6][7] Styles' parents divorced when he was seven and his mother later was remarried to Robin Twist,[8] who died of cancer in 2017.[9] Styles has an older stepbrother named Mike and a stepsister named Amy, children of Twist.[9] Styles said he had a "great childhood" and was always supported by his parents.[3] 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".[10] At the age of 16, he worked part-time at the W. Mandeville Bakery in Holmes Chapel.[7]


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 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".[3] 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.[11] Nicole Scherzinger, a guest judge,[12][13] and Simon Cowell have both claimed to have come up with the idea of forming the band.[14] The group consisting of Styles, Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, and Zayn Malik, got together for two weeks to practise.[15][16] Styles said he had suggested the name One Direction to his bandmates and they agreed to keep it.[17] Within the first four weeks of the live shows, they were Cowell's last act in the competition.[18][citation needed] The group quickly gained popularity in the UK.[19] In December 2010, One Direction finished The X Factor in third place behind Rebecca Ferguson and Matt Cardle, who won.[20]

Styles during the Where We Are Tour in 2014

In January 2011, it was confirmed that One Direction had been signed by Cowell to a reported £2 million Syco Records record contract.[21][22] One Direction's debut single, "What Makes You Beautiful", bowed at number one on the UK Singles Chart in September 2011,[23] 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.[24][25] The album featured a multitude of writers, but included three songs written by Styles and his groupmates.[26] 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".[27] 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.[3] 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.[3]

One Direction: This Is Us, a documentary and concert film about the group directed by Morgan Spurlock, was released in 2013.[28][29] In November the same year, the group released their third album, Midnight Memories,[30] 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.[31][32] The album was the best-selling album of the year.[33] 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.[34] Styles co-wrote the song "Just a Little Bit of Your Heart" for Ariana Grande's album, My Everything, released in August 2014.[35] Later in November, One Direction released their fourth album, Four,[36] which was the last to include Malik, due to his exit from the group in early 2015.[37] 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.[38] In August 2015, the group confirmed rumours of an extended hiatus following the completion of their fifth album, Made in the A.M.,[39] and related promotional activities.[40][41][42] Styles said he had suggested the hiatus in late 2014 while working in the studio, not wanting to "exhaust" the fan base.[3] Over the course of their career, One Direction have sold 7.6 million albums and 26 million singles in the US,[32][43] and amassed seven BRIT Awards,[44] seven American Music Awards,[45] six Billboard Music Awards,[46] and four MTV Video Music Awards,[47] among others.

2016–2018: Harry Styles and Dunkirk

In February 2016, Styles left One Direction's management company, Modest Management, and joined Jeffrey Azoff's Full Stop Management.[48] 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.[48][49] Styles co-wrote the song "Someday" with Meghan Trainor for Michael Bublé's album, Nobody but Me, released in October.[50] 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.[3] Jeff Bhasker executive produced the album, and Alex Salibian, Tyler Johnson, and Kid Harpoon served as producers.[51] In March 2017, Styles announced his first solo single, "Sign of the Times", would be released on 7 April.[52] The song subsequently peaked at number one on the UK Singles Chart and number four on the Billboard Hot 100.[53][54] The song is a glam rock influenced soft rock power ballad,[55][56] and has frequently drawn comparisons with the work of David Bowie.[57] Rolling Stone ranked it as the best song of 2017.[58] The song's music video featured him flying and walking on water,[59][60] and won the Brit Award for British Video of the Year.[61] 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.[62][63]

Styles during his first solo tour in Nashville in June 2018

His self-titled debut album was released in May 2017,[64] whereupon it debuted at number one in several countries, including the UK, US, and Australia.[65] The record was heavily influenced by 1970s soft rock and was described by Variety as a "classic cocktail of psychedelia, Britpop, and balladry".[66][67] The other singles from the album are "Two Ghosts" and "Kiwi".[68][69] Harry Styles received generally favourable reviews from critics,[70][71] and was included in several publications' lists of the best albums of 2017.[72][73][74] 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.[75]

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.[76][77] The tour setlist included covers of Fleetwood Mac's "The Chain", several One Direction songs, as well as previously unreleased material.[78][79]

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.[80] He appeared alongside an ensemble cast which included Fionn Whitehead, Tom Glynn-Carney, Jack Lowden, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Mark Rylance, and Tom Hardy.[81] Styles beat out "thousands of young men" for the part;[82] 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."[83][84] The Daily Telegraph film critic, Robbie Collin, praised Styles for his "bright, convicted, and unexpectedly not-at-all-jarring performance".[85]

In November, BBC One broadcast Harry Styles at the BBC, a one-hour television special presented by Nick Grimshaw.[86] Styles guest hosted The Late Late Show with James Corden in December.[87] 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).[88] 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.[89] In 2018, Styles began modelling for Gucci, appearing in several campaigns for the luxury Italian brand.[90][91]

2019–present: Fine Line and second headlining tour

"Lights Up", the lead single from Styles' second album Fine Line, was released in October 2019, debuting in third place in the UK.[92][93] The song features a "soft-touch re-entry into the pop slipstream" according to music writer Jon Caramanica.[94] Styles performed "double duty" as host and musical guest on Saturday Night Live in November.[95] The second single preceding Fine Line, "Adore You", was released in December, peaking at number seven in the UK and at number six in the US.[96][97][98] Styles also once again guest hosted The Late Late Show with James Corden that month.[99][100]

Fine Line followed on 13 December. 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 since Nielsen SoundScan tracking began in 1991.[101][a] It was recorded at the Shangri-La studio in Malibu, California with the same production team behind Styles' debut album, and features a similar sound sonically to Harry Styles, while incorporating additional elements of funk and soul.[103][104] Singer Stevie Nicks called the album Styles' Rumours and commented it inspired her to write new music.[105] The third and fourth Fine Line singles, "Falling" and "Watermelon Sugar", were released in 2020.[106][107] The latter became Styles' fourth UK top 10 single, charting at number four,[108] as well as his first number one single in the US.[109] At the 2020 Brit Awards, Styles was nominated for British Male Solo Artist and British Album of the Year.[110] A tour to support the album, named Love On Tour, was scheduled to take place throughout 2020.[111] Styles postponed the European and North American legs of the tour until 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[112][113]

In March 2020, Styles performed an NPR Tiny Desk concert.[114] In July, he narrated a bedtime story titled Dream with Me for the relaxation app Calm.[115] Styles will star in the upcoming psychological thriller film Don't Worry, Darling, directed by Olivia Wilde; he is replacing Shia LaBeouf, who had departed the film.[116]

Musical style and influences

Styles' musical style has been described as soft rock, pop, folk, rock, and Britpop.[117][118][119][120] Styles' 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.[121][122] His debut album was influenced by the music he grew up listening to, such as Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles and Fleetwood Mac, as well as the songwriting of Harry Nilsson.[123][124] Styles praised Nilsson's lyrics as being "honest, and so good, and I think it's because he's never trying to sound clever."[124] 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."[3] He has also cited Freddie Mercury,[125] Elvis Presley,[125] and Paul McCartney[126] as influences, while mentioning Shania Twain as his main inspiration both musically and in fashion.[127]

Public image

Regarding Styles' time in One Direction, AllMusic writer Tim Sendra opined that his "charming persona and elastic vocals had him positioned as the Timberlake of the group."[128] Entertainment Weekly's Leah Greenblatt described him as "a dimpled, rakish prankster happy to wear the mantle of Class Clown".[129] In 2016, Styles cut his signature long hair, and was featured in Another Man magazine,[130] after which Anne T. Donahue of The Guardian labeled him an "artthrob" who offers "something other than token shirtlessness" and telegraphs "an allegiance to the niche worlds of art and fashion rather than aiming for mainstream notoriety."[131] Billboard's Chris Payne took note of how Styles' "vibe has always screamed rock star."[132]

On the subject of his fashion choices, Styles told The Face: "What's feminine and what's masculine … it's like there are no lines any more."[133] Tom Lamont of The Guardian highlighted Styles' clothing and its effect on "an important political discussion about gendered fashion."[134] His style has also been noted as "flamboyant", "fashion-forward" and "fun".[135][136] Citing his use of the color pink, Styles quoted English musician and The Clash's bassist Paul Simonon during a Rolling Stone interview: "Pink is the only true rock & roll colour."[3] For public appearances, Styles has incorporated a selection of Saint Laurent, Burberry and Gucci, appearing in a number of campaigns for the latter.[137][138]

Styles wore skinny jeans, sheer blouses, floral prints, flamboyant suits and heeled boots during his time in One Direction.[137][139] Nicole Saunders of Billboard noted that his 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 course of the group's five-year stint.[140] As a solo artist, he opted for "candyfloss" custom pink suits, sequined tops, printed satin flares and gradually heightening heels.[137] Vanity Fair's Erika Harwood stated that Styles went from "boy-bander" to "luxury suit connoisseur" in describing his change in style.[141] During his first solo tour, he collaborated with student designer Harris Reed, whose work with Styles comprised "flowing fabrics, ruffles and frills".[142] He began wearing sweater vests, baggy high-waisted pants and a pearl necklace in 2019,[143] which prompted Jacob Gallagher of The Wall Street Journal to call him the "popularizer of the manly pearl necklace."[144] While performing on American morning program The Today Show in February 2020, Styles wore a custom rainbow cardigan by JW Anderson that inspired a TikTok trend of fans creating their own versions of the sweater.[145]

Styles won the British Style Award at the 2013 Fashion Awards.[146] He was ranked first and fifth in 2016 and 2017, respectively, on British Vogue's "The 50 Fittest Boys" list.[147][148] He was also voted the "Sexiest Male in Pop" for 2016, 2017, and 2018 in a poll by British radio network Capital.[149][150][151] In 2018, Styles was voted fourth on British GQ'S list of 50 best-dressed men, in which fashion designer Michael Kors deemed him "the modern embodiment of British rocker style: edgy, flamboyant and worn with unapologetic swagger."[152] Journalist and editor Anna Wintour chose Styles to be a co-chair of the 2019 Met Gala alongside Lady Gaga and Serena Williams, which preceded the art exhibition Camp: Notes on Fashion.[153]

Personal life

Styles splits his time between two homes in North London, having previously lived in the Sunset Strip area of West Hollywood, California.[154] He also owns a home in the Manhattan borough of New York City.[155] He believes in karma, and 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. [...] I definitely think there's something, that it's not just us. It's kind of crazy to think that it's just us."[156] He has dozens of tattoos, one of which (the words "Late Late" on his arm) was done during a live appearance on The Late Late Show with James Corden in 2015.[157]

Styles was in a relationship with television presenter Caroline Flack from November 2011 to January 2012, which generated controversy as she was fourteen years his senior.[158] He dated American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift later in 2012,[159] and model Camille Rowe from 2017 to 2018.[160][161] Styles' sexuality has long been a subject of speculation.[162] When questioned during a GQ interview in 2013 whether he was bisexual, he responded, "I'm pretty sure I'm not."[163] In 2017, he said that he did not "feel any need to label [his] sexuality or identify with one sexual orientation".[164] When asked about his flamboyant image and sexual ambiguity in December 2019, he 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."[134]

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.[165][166] He maintained his position in second place on the list in 2020 with an estimated net worth of £63 million.[167]

Philanthropy and activism

In 2013, Styles and fellow One Direction member Liam Payne became ambassadors for the cancer charity Trekstock, and raised more than $800,000 through the online fundraising platform Prizeo.[168][169] In 2015, Styles sponsored water wells in India via Drop4Drop in support of Life Water's World Water Day campaign.[170] 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.[171] 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.[172][173] In October 2017, Styles alongside other artists performed at CBS Radio's We Can Survive concert at the Hollywood Bowl for breast cancer awareness.[174] 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.[175][176]

Styles has shown support for the LGBT community by waving the rainbow flag on stage, wearing LGBT-themed clothing and supporting LGBT fans in concerts.[177] 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.[178] He has also added "Black Lives Matter" and "End Gun Violence" stickers to his guitar.[179] He tweeted in support of the March for Our Lives petition and actress Emma Watson's HeForShe gender equality campaign.[180][181] 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."[134]

Treat People with Kindness

"Treat People with Kindness", also abbreviated to "TPWK", is a slogan used by Styles to promote his message of love, acceptance and kindness to people.[182] Styles started using the slogan on his debut concert tour in 2017, on a badge on his guitar and on tour merchandise, including Pride t-shirts sold to raise funds for GLSEN.[183][184] In an interview in December 2019 he said, "It was a pin I had on my guitar strap and we made t-shirts for it, then I saw a lot of t-shirts around. I'd be driving or something and see someone in one and I started feeling like, ‘Oh this is a bit of a thing'". This gave Styles the idea of writing a song to go with the slogan. "Treat People with Kindness" is the penultimate track on his second studio album, Fine Line (album)|Fine Line.[185]

In October 2019 teaser posters including the phrase 'Do you know who you are?' and the acronym 'TPWK' were spotted in London, Tokyo, LA, New York and Australia. Even without a name, fans were quick to connect them to Styles and a new album release thanks to the reference to his "Treat People with Kindness" motto.[186][187][188] At the same time to mark World Mental Health Day Styles launched a website bot called 'Do You Know Who You Are?' that gives users positive randomised messages using words such as 'bright', 'determined', 'loving', 'wonderful' and ending with 'TPWK. LOVE, H'. [189][188]



Year Title Role Notes
2013 One Direction: This Is Us Himself Documentary concert film
2014 One Direction: Where We Are – The Concert Film Concert film
2017 Harry Styles: Behind the Album Documentary
Dunkirk Alex
Year Title Role Notes
2012 iCarly Himself Episode: "iGo One Direction"
2012–2019 Saturday Night Live Host / Musical Guest 5 episodes
2017 Harry Styles at the BBC Himself Television special
2017, 2019 The Late Late Show with James Corden Guest Host 2 episodes
2018 Happy Together N/A Executive producer

Awards and nominations