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The journey of Harry Styles: from X-Factor to the Grammys

Harry Styles wins two more Grammy nominations and remains one of the most popular artists of modern generation. Here is what you need to know about his journey.

Image credit: Ekaterina Egorova (used with permission)

Yet another magnificent night falls onto 21st century’s music industry and all stars were shining bright. The constellations of them were there, at 65th Grammys 2023, giving another sparkle for Harry Styles. 

Styles won two more Grammy’s nominations last night (5 February), bypassing Beyoncé with an album of the year. The BBC reported: “This year, Harry Styles took the crown, with Grammy voters recognising the slick, radio-friendly pop of his third record Harry’s House.”

As Billboard acknowledged, these are his first nominations in Big Four categories

In his speech Styles specifically stated: “It’s obviously so important for us to remember that there is no such thing as best in music”.

However, his career may prove us wrong.

The name

These two words ‘Harry Styles’ together can be recognised by people who are rather distanced from modern pop culture music world. Apart from other ‘pop stars’, Styles developed the depth of his character. He is considered not just as an artist but rather a personality with a strong name.

An ‘idol’, as some would say.

There are 76.7 billion videos under the #harrystyles in TikTok and billions of tweets. The agenda is diverse, starting from songs he sings, clothes he wears, things he says and never-ending topics about conspiracies around mysterious name of Harry Styles.

One Direction was a global triumph, a phenomenon, a unique band that shaped new generation. A band, which embedded their names forever into a music history.

The ‘hiatus’ of famous 1D has opened a pandora bow of four solo artists with their own ‘Styles’, and the glance on his career and impeccable success is the reason people ask: So, what is there so special about Mr. Styles?

Numbers

Let us talk numbers. US magazine showed that even though all members were presented in Billboard’s 100 chart, only Styles took over the first place twice. He was also the only one to win three Grammys award both in 2021 and 2023. His tours sell faster, his albums get higher ratings.

2010 was the year X-Factor revealed young curly boy in a grey cardigan with a common British name Harry. Seven years later he drops his first album and break US sales records, Daily Mail reported.

Then 2019 and 2022, two more albums, a worldwide tour, four movies as an actor and a character that seems so different from that coy grey cardigan boy.

The style

As 2017 was his year of first partnership with Gucci, first album, first attempt of developing own style with famous designer Harris Reed and the start of the whole solo journey, it set a certain glare around him. Styles’s outfits continue to be discussed within fashion industry ever since. 

GQ, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour – major magazines acknowledge Styles’s peculiar outfits’ choices. “It’s Harry’s fashion credentials that we’re truly obsessed with”, says Glamour, naming the article “Here’s proof that Harry Styles is one of the best-dressed men on the planet”. 

People repost his overly discussed photoshoot for Vogue in a dress till this day, after the second album ‘Fine Line’ was released. The article magazine provided an interview, where the style of Harry is again admirable. 

One can say an artist is an ‘idol’ when there is a thing to replicate. As many fans do with Styles, as with the famous ‘colored patchwork cardigan’. 

‘Love on tour’ unfolds more surprises with each concert and makes fans wonder: What is there going to be next? A blue dress and a ribbon of Dorothy from ‘Wizard of Oz’ at Maddison Square Garden, or new Gucci brown leather pants? Unpredictability is truly what flames up more interest.

The vibe

Styles’s image alongside with his colourful suits and his glint persona inspires fans to set their own ‘rules’ at his concerts. Maybe that is yet another reason Styles has been touring ever since September 2021, making it 22 months of constant reunion with fans. 

Glitter, rainbow, feather – everything seems to be seen and, most importantly, be well welcomed within this positive colourful vibe of Style’s concerts. Millions of videos across social media of people enjoying themselves, as Harry sets the thought ‘Treat people with kindness’. 

The sense of belonging and rainbow patter in modern grey realms of life is the thing to crave. Catchy motives, energetic dances are the way to engage more people. It may be the vibe of Harry which is the secret. 

The personality

The world ‘unproblematic’ seems to appear rapidly when describing Styles among twitter users. Kind and fashionable, icon and idol also seem to appear a lot. 

The acceptance for all without any exclusions – no matter what race, orientation, religion or nationality. Styles stands for equality and expresses it bluntly through his clothing, photoshoots, interviews and songs. “The whole point of where we should be heading, which is toward accepting everybody and being more open”, he says to Glamour and the positive message he spreads can be counted as another reason behind his immaculate success. Is he an Elton John for the Gen Zs? All those feathers at concerts might prove it.

Movies, concerts, shows, and now even line of skincare with brand name ‘Pleasing’, which is presented as unisex, without any exclusions. Vanishing stereotypes is what we follow through all of Style’s career.  

The mystery

There are dozens of conspiracies within the global network, even more so rumors and unrevealed assumptions. The sense of mystery is what inspires journalists to dig into the case about Styles’s orientation, relationship status and other speculations. Mirror overlooked the love life of Mr. Styles and added: “The cryptic singer made it clear in one interview that he dates a lot of un-famous people too. “You just don’t know about it,” he told”. 

Styles seems to be close and distant with his audience at the same time and that confrontation flames up the interest of people. As one knows, the intrigue is not far from falling into the trap of being his fan. A glamour of famous names (Taylor Swift, Kendall Jenner, Olivia Wild) around Styles and his placid demeanour about it fits into his description of ‘unproblematic’. Maybe that is what audience needs in our complex modern world – some sort of calmness and ignorance, the focus on other things such as his music.

The music

Is that the most important aspect? That is the first milestone and the starting point of everything indeed, it is constant. X-factor boy has started as a singer and his Grammys performances are speaking for himself. All nominations are not given out of nothing.

Harry Styles has taken over pop music, his songs are catchy, streaming across the world in cafes, shops, parties. The ability to create a hit each time he releases something is a talent without a doubt. His first album counted 1.5 million sales and the second nearly 3.5 million.

Guinness World Records published: “Catchy pop hit “As It Was” by global superstar Harry Styles has been confirmed as the most streamed track on Spotify (2022) with a massive 1.5 billion plays throughout the year”.

Rolling Stone describes third album with a four-star rate: “Harry Styles delivers sleek, heartfelt pop pleasures on his great third album”. The recognition he got and keeps getting for his main job and the satisfaction with his own performances and music – that is what makes people connect so much and fans to keep buying tickets for shows. 

Radios has not stopped streaming his music ever since 2017 and we have not stopped listening to it. Breaking world selling records and continuing his climb to the top.

Everything together

All of this combined, the character he built, the things he created with style, personality, music, and vibe, all shiny and covered in glitter, sparkling with talent and spreading positivity for people. That is all he – Harry Styles.

One can only wait until the next move to encourage more people into downloading his music, but now we can congratulate him with another outstanding performance and new music award. The background he came from to be at this point of the journey is a true hard work.

So maybe there cannot be only one thing to explain his success. Maybe it is all just him. There is always much more to uncover. Styles said there cannot be ‘best’ in music, but he is ‘best’ for many people. 

Certainly, there is one message people all need to inherit from Styles.

Treat people with kindness.