A Project for Better Journalism chapter

The Rise of Harry Styles

 With the release of Harry Styles’ new album, it is safe to say that he has taken the world by storm. Since the debut of his first solo album in 2017, Harry Styles has graced the cover of Rolling Stone, modeled for Gucci, toured the world, starred on Saturday Night Live, and most iconically, owned the Met Gala with his astonishing outfits. 

Harry Styles has never been shy to the public. After his audition on X Factor UK in 2010, he became a heartthrob to millions of teenage girls all over the world. Although the judges were extremely impressed by him, they thought Harry would be more successful in a boy band. Subsequently, Harry joined the band, One Direction, with his former bandmates Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson, and Liam Payne. One Direction placed third overall, but their story did not end there. The boy band dominated the music industry from 2010- 2016. 

On September 11, 2011 the boys debuted their first single, What Makes You Beautiful, one of the most well-known songs of this generation. The band sold 153,965 copies of the single and reached the Top 5 on the singles charts in various countries. The band continued to produce a variety of albums until Zayn Malik left the boy band. The four remaining members continued to tour the world and produce one last album, but after that One Direction was officially over. 

Not long after One Direction’s breakup, Harry Styles decided to pursue a solo career. In 2017, he released his album, Harry Styles. The album included 10 outstanding songs. Fans were ecstatic that the beloved band member continued to produce music. His original song, “Sign of the Times,” reached the #1 spot on the iTunes chart in under twenty minutes. One year after his solo debut, Harry Styles starred in Dunkirk, which was eventually nominated for an Academy Award. Business Insider noted, “Formerly part of One Direction, Styles has branched off into being one of the biggest solo performers in the world, and now he’s showing he has acting chops as well.”

One Direction fans and others were gravitated towards Styles’ music and attitude. He lives by the saying “treat people with kindness.” Pierson Beveridge, sophomore, stated, “Harry Styles is very inspirational because he’s just unapologetically himself. The way he spreads kindness and uses his phrase inspires me to make sure that I do the same. He is not afraid to do what he wants even when it comes to things like painting his nails and/or wearing women’s clothing.” Something that sets Styles away from other artists is his unconditional support towards those part of the LGBT+ community. Throughout his tour, he donated a large portion of his proceeds to the Pride Campaign. Furthermore, he openly waves pride flags at his concerts and even helped a fan come out to her mother. 

Fast forward to present time, Harry Styles released his second solo album, Fine Line, on December 13, 2019. This album includes a variety of 12 songs including up-lifting, happy music and those that describe his hardships. Styles told Rolling Stones, “I think ‘Lights Up’ came at the end of a long period of self-reflection, self-acceptance. Through the two years of making the record I went through a lot of personal changes. I just had the conversations with myself that you don’t always have. And I just feel more comfortable being myself.” With the recent release of his new album, the public falls more and more in love with Styles and his work. All 12 of his songs made it on the Top 20 of Spotify’s Charts. 

As Harry Styles puts it, “You have a choice where you can either be all right to someone or you can be a little bit nicer, and that can make someone’s day.“ He has made the public fall in love with him between his beautiful songs and loving personality. Everything he does and stands for is absolutely inspiring.