Happy Birthday Harry Styles! Here, the Evolution of the British Artist
From teen-friendly to Prince of Pop
Harry Styles first swept us off our feet as a curly-haired contestant on the X Factor and later, as one of the more charming members of boy band sensation One Direction. But now that he’s shed his teen-friendly image and come into his own as the Prince of Pop (rock), he has completely won us over. And because it’s his birthday, we look back on how our man crush has evolved.
1994. Harry Edward Styles was born into this earth.
Growing up, Styles has always loved singing and cites Elvis Presley as one of his major influences in music.
2010. Styles auditioned for The X Factor UK and sang an acapella version of Stevie Wonder classic, Isn’t She Lovely.
While he didn’t progress as a solo act, Nicole Scherzinger saw his and four other boys’ potential, and suggested they perform as an ensemble. And as the universe would have it, we were blessed with a boy band sensation made up of Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson and Zayn Malik.
2011. The boys may not have won the competition (they placed third), but we did have our 1D. In the same year, the group was signed by Simon Cowell and released the book One Direction: Forever Young (Our Official X Factor Story).
But wait there’s more. In September 2011, their debut single What Makes You Beautiful took the number on spot on the UK Singles Chart.
2012. One Direction’s second studio album was released. Harry Styles also dated Taylor Swift that year and appeared in teen show iCarly.
2013. The documentary One Direction: This Is Us came out along with the group’s third studio album Midnight Memories. Styles, together with Liam Payne, also started his philanthropic efforts around the same time. He became an ambassador for cancer charity Treckstock to help raise money for cancer research.
2014. Four, the band’s fourth album came out, while Styles co-wrote one of Ariana Grande’s songs, A Little Bit Of Your Heart.
2015. One Direction announced that they would be going on hiatus. The news broke hearts everywhere.
Styles, though, continued his goodwill efforts while on tour and visited the Lalela Project in South Africa. The organization “helps children who are victims of ‘extreme poverty, armed conflict, displacement and deadly diseases like malaria, TB and Aids,’ and gives them a chance to be creative through art.”
2016. Was a year of mixed feelings for both 1D and Styles fans as the latter signed a recording contract with Columbia Records as a solo artist and later launched his own record label Erskine Records. He also collaborated with Meghan Trainor for Michael Bublé’s album Nobody But Me.
Styles showed support to even more charitable institutions, like Comic Relief, and donated his signature curly locks to Little Princess Trust, which supplies high quality wigs to children who have lost their hair due to cancer treatments.
2017. Was a big year for Harry Styles; he debuted his first solo single Sign of the Times, which critics describe as a mix of pop rock, soft rock ballad and glam rock influences. This was followed by Styles’ first solo TV performance on SNL and shortly after, his first live solo performance at The Graham Norton Show.
Meanwhile, Harry Styles self-titled album came out in May and debuted number one in the UK, US and Australia. What’s more? The documentary Harry Styles: Behind the Album was released on Apple Music. Styles also appeared in Christoper Nolan’s Dunkirk before going on tour in September.
But no evolution post is complete without a mention of Harry Styles' David Bowie-esque meets Prince sense of style, which we absolutely adore (bye Jack Will Tracksuits, hello Gucci, Saint Laurent and Burberry!). Some of our fave looks—including magazine covers!—below: