When it comes to young British stars in the music industry, English singer, songwriter and actor Harry Styles immediately springs to mind. As one of several stars catapulted to global stardom via generation-defining boy band, One Direction, Styles received his first taste of success on British music competition series, the X-Factor.
Competing in the seventh season of the immensely popular content, singing Stevie Wonder’s Isn’t She Lovely and Oasis’ Stop Crying Your Heart Out in later episodes. In an unprecedented decision, X-Factor judges Simon Cowell and Nicole Scherzinger put Styles together with fellow competitors Liam Payne, Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson and Niall Horan to form a new group, One Direction. Despite not winning the competition, One Direction were immediately signed to Simon Cowell’s Syco record label, going on to become one of the best-selling acts of the century alongside The Beatles and Michael Jackson.
The band’s debut album, Up All Night, was a best seller in the United Kingdom before similarly becoming a best-seller following its release in the United States. Since then, One Direction have released 5 best-selling albums, with a recent hiatus prompting Styles and some of his fellow bandmates to go solo in their musical efforts.
Since then, Styles has signed a recording deal with Columbia Records, with his debut single reaching number one in the UK and number four in the US. Thanks to his success in the music industry and his latest ventures in Hollywood (Styles starred in Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk in 2017), Styles is recognised as one of the most successful young music professionals in the UK and Europe.