After five years in One Direction and one year on hiatus, today Harry Styles blesses us with his very first album as a solo artist.
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Harry Styles’ musical history didn’t start with One Direction, though (and it certainly won’t end with this self-titled album). In honor of the release of ‘Harry Styles’, let’s take a trip back down memory lane.
Harry Styles was born to Anne Cox and Des Styles on February 1, 1994. He grew up in Holmes Chapel, Cheshire, England alongside his older sister Gemma.
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Harry’s original group White Eskimo consisted of Harry, of course, and four other friends. Will Sweeny was then and is still the band’s frontman, and they’re continuing to make pop-punk music today despite Harry’s 2010 departure.
The X Factor
Harry auditioned as a solo artist for the U.K.’s X Factor in September 2010 at just 16 years old. Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, and Niall Horan all also auditioned as solo artists, and it was Simon Cowell’s keen eye that tried putting them together as a group. One Direction was born.
Although the boys were the clear fan favorite of the show, One Direction actually only placed third. Despite this, Simon signed them to his record label at the end of 2010 (and good thing, too).
One Direction: The Early Years
One Direction’s popularity skyrocketed thanks to social media, and the five boys set out on their first headlining tour in the fall of 2011, stopping in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and North America. They toured their Up All Night album all the way through 2012, including their iconic show at New York City’s Madison Square Garden on December 3.
One Direction’s second arena tour, for their Take Me Home album, took place throughout 2013. They signed 5 Seconds of Summer to their own label and had the band open for them on all the dates. Harry’s hair continued to get longer.
Harry and One Direction quickly outgrew arenas, and the group played two back-to-back stadium tours: 2014’s Where We Are tour (for their Midnight Memories album) and 2015’s On the Road Again tour (for their Four album).
During the 2015 tour, Zayn decided to depart the band, leaving Harry, Louis, Niall, and Liam to continue on as a foursome. As they continued traveling the world on their On the Road Again tour, they also recorded their fifth album, Made in the A.M.
Harry, Louis, Niall, and Liam announced that One Direction would be going on an indefinite hiatus at the beginning of 2016, giving all the boys the opportunity to take a break from their crazy touring schedule and explore solo ventures.
During the hiatus, Harry auditioned for and was cast in Christopher Nolan’s latest war film, Dunkirk. He chopped his iconic hair off for the role and kept mostly out of the eyes of fans and paparazzi while filming took place in 2016. The movie hits theaters on July 21, 2017 in IMAX.
Harry appeared on three collectible covers of Another Man magazine in September 2016, where the world got to truly see him as a solo artist for the time (despite not having released his own music yet). The magazine included an extensive selection of new iconic British-style photos of Harry.
At the end of March, Harry announced his debut solo single, Sign of the Times, would be available on April 7, 2017. Not long after, he revealed that the full self-titled album would drop on May 12, and the second single, Sweet Creature, then came out on May 2. In between all this, Harry graced the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, performed and acted on Saturday Night Live, and was the musical guest on the Graham Norton Show—not to mention calling into countless radio interviews to promote the album.
Coming Up Next
Harry will join James Corden for an entire week on the Late Late Show starting May 15. His tour, stopping at extremely intimate venues in North America, Europe, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand, takes place this fall from September to December.
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