Beer and Skittles: He Never Went Out of Style: The Rise of Harry Styles

He is a pop culture icon, rockstar, actor, model, and a global charmer who has reigned in millions of hearts for years. Born on February 1, 1994, and raised in Holmes Chapel, Cheshire, Harry Edward Styles has been making headlines since he was 16 years old. Styles is consistently on top of his game, whether it’s his fancy fashion sense, captivating voice, or poetic lyricism. In recent years, he has transformed from a teenage heartthrob to an award-winning solo artist with myriad accolades and accomplishments. Despite the media portraying him in a negative light at times, he has risen above it all with the love of his family and fans.

He was born to Desmond “Des” Styles and Anne Cox. His older sister, Gemma, is also a writer and activist. Styles’ parents divorced when he was seven, but he maintains a warm relationship with the both of them. He began his music career as a student at Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School, where he was the lead singer of the band, White Eskimo. The British singer shot to fame in 2010 after auditioning for The X Factor UK. He sang a cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely” for the show. Styles was a nonplussed 16-year-old who was advised by the experts of the show that he lacked the “confidence” and “experience” to succeed as a solo artist. He was called back into the competition when his performance didn’t advance any further and joined Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, and Louis Tomlinson to compete as a team for the programme. The five-piece group later adopted the name One Direction at Styles’ suggestion, and they ultimately finished third in the contest’s final round.

The band’s career took off immediately, and they swiftly evolved into a global phenomenon. One Direction wowed audiences with their debut album, Up All Night, which peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, making them the first British band to do so. They did not let fans down in their four subsequent albums either. Take Me Home, their sophomore album, sold 4.4 million copies worldwide; Midnight Memories sold 4 million; Four sold 3.2 million; and their final album, Made in the A.M., sold 2.4 million copies internationally. The band also received a plethora of nominations and awards, including the MTV Video Music Awards, American Music Awards, BRITS, and Billboard Music Awards. One Direction had been on the ascent and was regarded as one of the finest bands of all time, courtesy of their back-to-back successful hits, worldwide tours, and smashing several records held by well-known bands like The Beatles and NSYNC. Nevertheless, in 2016, the band publicly announced an indefinite hiatus to allow the members to pursue solo careers.


Styles inked a solo contract with Columbia Records in June 2016, and his self-titled debut album was released in May 2017. The epic ballad “Sign of the Times,” which he released as his first solo single, instantaneously reached Number 1 in the UK and was a commercial success, earning him a BRIT Award for British Video of the Year. Upon the launch in various nations, Styles’s debut album climbed to Number 1 rapidly in numerous charts. The album’s soft rock compositions revealed a unique approach of the singer that fans had not seen during his One Direction era. Two additional singles from the album, “Two Ghosts”and “Kiwi,” were released thereupon. As part of his album-making process, Harry also released a documentary in 2017. The 50-minute documentary, Harry Styles: Beyond the Album, gave viewers a peek into the behind the scenes of his recording process. At the time, Styles believed that releasing a solo album was the right direction for his profession. In actuality, he had been composing and recording his independent songs while still performing with the band. He recounted this in an interview with Vogue: “After a show, you’d go in a hotel room and put down some vocals.” When Styles was eventually given the opportunity to craft his own music, he revealed that he “really fell in love with being in the studio.”

Fine Line

Fine Line album

Harry Styles dropped his second album, Fine Line, on December 13, 2019, which undoubtedly shook his fans and attracted attention from around the globe with its lyrical beauty, mesmerizing instrumentals, Styles’ stunning voice, and to top it all off, the sensational music videos. Each song carries a somewhat different emotional essence; from “Falling” to “Sunflower, Vol. 6”, Harry expresses a range of feelings through his songs. Throughout the album, Harry touches on self-exploration, breakups, joy, sadness, and what any normal 25-year-old would be experiencing. Harry Styles pours his heart out through these musical masterpieces as he portrays true, authentic passion and emotion.  

“What am I now? What am I now?

What if I’m someone I don’t want around?”

Lyrics from “Falling” illustrate a fear of falling into a low phase in life and consequently self-inspection.

In an interview with Zane Lowe, Harry states that “I had started to feel myself becoming someone I didn’t want to be, and that was really hard.”

The outcome? Harry Styles’s sophomore album, Fine Line, took the world by storm and won the American Music Award for Favorite Pop/Rock Album, the Juno Award for International Album of the Year, and received a nomination for British Album of the Year at the 2020 Brit Awards.

Harry’s House

On the 20th of May, 2022, the one and only Harry Styles dropped his third studio album, Harry’s House, which is his best-selling album yet. A breezy, fun, lively collection of summer songs, yet simultaneously intimate and warming, the album symbolises immense growth for the artist, being released only around 2 years after Fine Line. 

“If I was a bluebird, I would fly to you

You’d be the spoon

Dip you in honey so I could be sticking to you”

Lyrics from Daylight. 

Harry Styles states in an interview with Zane Lowe, “Imagine it’s a day in my house, like what do I go through, a day in my mind, what do I go through.” Harry authentically brings us an in-depth, profound, meaningful experience of his life, while being relatable. 

Just how successful is Harry’s House? It was no surprise that Harry’s House debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. Its lead single “As It Was” spent more weeks at No. 1 than any other song this year and was recognised as the Song Of the Summer by Billboard and Spotify.

Acting Career 

Harry Styles dived into the acting world with Dunkirk, a war film which was written, directed, and produced by Christopher Nolan. The film, released in 2017, portrays the Dunkirk evacuation of World War II. The director explains, “Harry’s features, ability and demeanour fitted right in.” The film was a new exposure for Harry to the art of acting, and no one was certain if it would be a one-time thing, or if he would pursue it more.

As it turns out, Harry did take on another acting role in Don’t Worry Darling, a 2022 American psychological thriller film. The film follows a 1950s housewife, played by Florence Pugh, living in a utopian experimental society with her husband, played by Harry Styles, where she gradually becomes concerned that his extravagant corporation may be harbouring frightening truths, which she seeks to uncover. The film received global recognition as Harry continued to develop his acting skills and prove that his skills are beyond merely singing and songwriting.

Harry Styles also acted in My Policeman, which is an American romantic drama film based on the 2012 novel by Bethan Roberts. The film is about an unconventional love story at the time, which would undoubtedly play with your emotions. Harry Styles clearly portrayed his role with much capability and passion.

Harry also made a short but sweet and nonetheless eye-catching appearance in the Marvel movie Eternals, as Eros, Thanos’s brother. 

Grammy Award Winner

Harry Styles at the Grammy Awards in early 2023

Harry Styles continues to shine as he wins Album of the Year at the 2023 Grammys. This was an extremely notable accomplishment for him, and yet, he, without fail,  carried much humility in his acceptance speech as he thanked his fellow nominees and the Recording Academy. Harry also expresses his gratitude to his mother and One Direction members, stating, “I want to thank my mom for signing me up for X Factor without telling me, so I literally wouldn’t be here without you. I want to thank Niall, Louis, Liam and Zayn because I wouldn’t be here without you either. Thank you so much,” 

The End, but not the end for Harry Styles.

Harry Styles has truly never went out of style and likely never will. As his fans and recognition grow, he simultaneously shows immense growth as a person in discovering himself and expressing so much vulnerability, dedication, and insight through his music. He has come a long way from being an average boy who grew up in Holmes Chapel, to being in one of the biggest boy bands in the world, a pop icon and upcoming actor. Despite these labels, Harry Styles remains kind-hearted, warm, gentle, respectful, humble and overall remarkable from every aspect. 

Written by: Celine and Ruby

Edited by: Caitlin

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