Harry Styles: From boyband breakthrough to solo success and Hollywood heartthrob

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Harry Styles has secured his sixth consecutive week at number one with his third solo album, Harry’s House, marking a milestone as he surpasses One Direction’s combined weeks atop the official albums chart.

After growing up in Cheshire, Styles first secured himself a place in the spotlight when auditioning for The X Factor in 2010 at the age of 16 upon the suggestion of his mother Anne.

Despite auditioning as a solo contestant with a rendition of Stevie Wonder’s Isn’t She Lovely, Styles failed to make it past the bootcamp stage of the competition.

Harry Styles releases a new album
Harry Styles has surpassed One Direction’s combined weeks atop the UK Official Albums Chart (Ian West/PA)

However, along with four other unsuccessful male solo auditionees from his age group, Styles was thrown a lifeline by judge Simon Cowell and the five boys were given the chance to form a band, One Direction, and progress in the group category with Cowell, 62, as their mentor.

One Direction sailed through the competition and eventually finished in third place.

After the show, Styles and his bandmates released a debut single, What Makes You Beautiful, followed by debut album Up All Night – which included three songs co-written by Styles – and their fame grew astronomically.

The group’s four subsequent studio albums released between 2012 and 2015 all reached number one on the UK album charts and 2013 release Midnight Memories became the biggest selling album in the world of that year.

Despite their success – the band are one of the best-selling boybands of all time – One Direction announced they would be going on an indefinite hiatus in January 2016, following band member Zayne Malik’s departure from the band in March 2015.

Styles wasted no time launching his solo career and signed a recording contract in early 2016. His first solo single, Sign Of The Times, was released in April 2017 and shot straight to the top of the UK singles charts.

His self-titled studio album was released a month later and debuted at number one in numerous countries, including the UK, US and Australia.

Styles has been an unstoppable force in the music industry ever since, with his 2022 release Harry’s House spending six weeks at number one on the UK album chart, having debuted at the top spot in both the UK and the US as the fastest-selling record of 2022 to date.

In addition to his musical success, Styles has also forged himself a blossoming acting career. He made his feature film debut in 2017 starring in Christopher Nolan’s war film Dunkirk as British Soldier Alex in the evacuation of Dunkirk during the Second World War.

Alongside the triumph of Harry’s House, in 2022 Styles is continuing to establish himself as a Hollywood heartthrob and is set to feature in two new releases this year.

He will first star in psychological thriller Don’t Worry Darling, which is set for release in September.

He will play the role of Jack alongside Florence Pugh as the film’s protagonist and Jack’s wife Alice. The film is directed by, and also stars, Styles’ off-screen partner Olivia Wilde.

Styles will also take the lead in My Policeman, alongside The Crown actress Emma Corrin, which is set to have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September.

The film, based on Bethan Roberts’ 2012 novel of the same name, stars the chart-topping singer as titular police officer Tom, who is embroiled in a complex love triangle set in the 1950s.

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