Celebrity Then And Now
Publication: Albany Daily News. Posted by Lexi Schwartz
Celebrity Then And Now
Posted by Lexi Schwartz
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“That’s the amazing thing about music: there’s a song for every emotion. Can you imagine a world with no music? It would suck.” Taking a huge chance when he auditioned for the British singing competition The X Factor in 2010, Harry Styles had no idea that an early elimination would result in even greater stardom. Styles was brought back on the series to form the boy band, One Direction. The group finished the show in third place and signed a record deal with Syco. Over the next six years, Styles settled into his stardom only to surprise fans in 2016 when he announced his hiatus from the group to launch his solo career with his debut single, “Sign of the Times.” So, how has life outside the band treated him? Let’s find out!Advertisements:
1990s to Stardom
Harry Edward Styles was born on February 1, 1994, in Redditch, Worcestershire, England. Styles loved music from an early age and often sang covers of Elvis Presley. Once he entered Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School, his passion for music flourished as he took the stage as the lead singer of White Eskimo. Although the group won a local Battle of the Bands competition, Styles wanted more and took his mother’s advice to audition for the British singing show The X Factor in 2010.
Styles’ advanced into The X Factor’s bootcamp after he sang a rendition of Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely.” Although Styles failed to impress in the next round and was eliminated, judges Nicole Scherzinger and Simon Cowell invited him back on the show to join Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, and Zayn Malik. The group practiced for two weeks before they returned to The X Factor as One Direction.
One Direction quickly became a fan favorite and finished in third place on the series. Weeks later, the band signed their first record deal with Simon Cowell’s Syco Records. They released their debut single, “What Makes You Beautiful,” in September 2011 and followed up with their debut album, Up All Night. The album was a massive hit and made One Direction the first pop group from the United Kingdom to have their debut album top the American music charts.
One Direction released their second album, Take Me Home, in November 2012, which was another huge success. By this time, Styles was an international icon and sealed his fate as a tabloid star when he dated singer-songwriter, Taylor Swift. Although their relationship was brief, fans couldn’t get enough of the young artists who wrote songs about their breakup. “I think relationships are hard at any age,” Styles said of his famous romance with Swift. “And adding in that you don’t really understand how exactly it works when you’re 18, trying to navigate all that stuff didn’t make it easier. I mean, you’re a little bit awkward to begin with. You’re on a date with someone you really like. It should be that simple right? It was a learning experience for sure.”
Despite his high-profile breakup, Styles gained even greater fame. The band released their documentary, One Direction: This Is Us, in 2013 and followed up with their third album, Midnight Memories (2013) featuring hit singles “Best Song Ever” and “Story of My Life.” Styles co-wrote “Just a Little Bit of Your Heart” for Ariana Grande and returned to the studio with the band for their fourth album, Four (2014).
Following the band’s fourth album, Zayn Malik left the group in early 2015. Rumors ran wild that One Direction would stop recording after the release of their fifth album, Made in the A.M. Those rumors proved true when Styles confirmed the band’s hiatus and his decision to launch his solo career. “I didn’t want to exhaust our fan base. If you’re shortsighted, you can think, ‘Let’s just keep touring,’ but we all thought too much of the group than to let that happen. You realize you’re exhausted, and you don’t want to drain people’s belief in you,” Styles said. “I wanted to step up, too. There were songs I wanted to write and record, and not just have it be, ‘Here’s a demo I wrote.’ Every decision I’ve made since I was 16 was made in a democracy. I felt like it was time to make a decision about the future… and maybe I shouldn’t rely on others.”
Launching His Solo Career: Life Today
In 2016, Styles stepped up to the plate and left One Direction’s management company to join Full Stop Management. He launched his record label, Erskine Records, in 2016 and signed a solo recording contract with Columbia Records. He immediately got to work and co-wrote “Someday” with Meghan Trainor for Michael Bublé’s album, Nobody But Me. Months later, Styles released his debut solo single, “Sign of the Times,” which topped the UK Singles Chart and ranked number four on the Billboard Hot 100.
Styles made several guest appearances to promote his music and his self-titled debut album, which was released in May 2017. He gave fans a sneak peek inside his creative process with the Harry Styles: Behind the Album documentary and embarked on his first headlining concert tour—Harry Styles: Live on Tour—from September 2017 to July 2018. Amid his busy schedule on the road, Styles pursued another dream and made his acting debut in Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk (2017). Believe it or not, Nolan cast Styles for his talent and not his fame as Nolan later said, “He fit the part wonderfully and truly earned a seat at the table.”
Although he’s yet to release his second solo album, Styles remains one of the hottest artists in the industry with many fans still hoping for a One Direction reunion. Of course, part of his fame stems from his commitment to keeping a little bit of mystery surrounding his life, which is why he hasn’t spilled the beans on his latest romances. “I like to separate my personal life and work. It helps, I think, for me to compartmentalize,” he says. “It’s not about trying to make my career longer, like I’m trying to be this mysterious character, because I’m not. When I go home, I feel like the same person I was at school. You can’t expect to keep that if you show everything. There’s the work and the personal stuff and going between the two is my favorite shit. It’s amazing to me.” It’s undoubtedly one reason why his fans keep begging for more!