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Global superstar and erstwhile member of One Direction
Auditioning for the seventh series of The X Factor in 2010, then amateur singer Harry Styles could not have anticipated just where things would lead. Chosen by influential record executive Simon Cowell as one of five male soloists to form One Direction, it signalled the start of a hugely successful career for Styles who, after selling millions of records with the band, decided in 2016 to go it alone.
Born in Redditch in 1994, Styles's musical career began as a member of his school band White Eskimo. Following the fateful The X Factor audition at the age of 16, Styles joined Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson, Niall Horan and Liam Payne to form One Direction. Finishing third in the series, the five-piece went on to become one of the most successful outputs from the global TV franchise. Between 2011 and 2015, One Direction hit the top spot on charts across the globe, toured internationally, and built a hugely dedicated fanbase.
Following Malik's departure from the band and their subsequent hiatus, Styles signed a deal with Columbia Records for his debut solo album. Foregoing the outright commercial pop of his former outfit, Styles instead drew inspiration from heavy hitters such as David Bowie and Elton John for his self-titled release. This new style was showcased on his first solo single Sign Of The Times, quickly praised for its comparable maturity. The track hit the No.1 spot across Europe, with the full-length record reaching the top in Europe, the United States and Australia. That same year, Styles also appeared in Christopher Nolan's Academy Award-winning film Dunkirk.
Styles spent much of the next year touring across the globe, before returning to the studio to lay down his sophomore full-length album. Working once again with producers Kid Harpoon and Tyler Johnson, he released Fine Line in December 2019. It rounded off a year that also saw Styles turn to presenting and modelling, not least co-hosting the world-renowned Met Gala.
Originally entering the charts in December 2019, Watermelon Sugar - the fourth single taken from the record - celebrated an unexpected resurgence to mark itself as one of the anthems of 2020, slowly crawling back up the charts before establishing itself as a top ten mainstay throughout the summer months.