10 Iconic Moments From Harry Styles’ Solo Career
It is difficult to determine which musicians will stand the test of time. Once they’ve achieved iconic status after 40 or 50 years in the business, it’s nice to take a trip down memory lane to chart a course through their meteoric rises.
However, there are a few rare artists whose iconic moments you can see forming in real time. Whether it’s a landmark album that seems to shake up the industry as we know it, a colossal spectacle that you can almost think of as the penultimate moment of a biopic, or a milestone record reached that solidifies them forever in the annals of music history.
One such artist is Harry Styles. From a singer at heart to a mainstay of pop-rock, fashions is a legend in the making. While his stint in One Direction is iconic in itself, below we stick to Styles’ solo career, taking a look at some key moments from his journey so far.
1. Styles shares his self-titled debut album
As One Direction came to a halt (the band toned down the breaking thump by announcing a “break,” though the timeout didn’t seem to end anytime soon), each member of the band began to foray into themselves, dropping such a wide range of music, it’s a wonder they could ever agree on anything.
The world waited with particularly bated breath to see what the loose-haired, Mick Jagger-esque styles would share for his first solo outing. The first single from her debut ended up being the anthem “Sign of the Times”. Drawing on his classical influences—everyone from the Beatles to Rod Stewart—Styles stood out as the star of the band, far surpassing his bandmates’ burgeoning solo careers.
2. By Christopher Nolan Dunkirk
Styles’ early solo career was not only characterized by a solid 10-track album, but also by an expectation-defying role in Christopher Nolan. Dunkirk.
Especially in Nolan fashion, not much was known about the war epic until its release. Although one notable aspect that audiences started to pick up on pretty quickly was the addition of a certain former boy band member to the cast.
Joining Tom Hardy, Kenneth Branagh and Mark Rylance, Styles seemed to fit comfortably into the mix of veteran actors, allaying the widespread criticism that circulated on social media ahead of the film’s release. An unexpected — and quite brave — move for so early in his solo career, the role has further broadened Styles’ appeal.
3. Duet with Stevie Nicks on “Landslide”
After years of selling out the biggest stages in the world alongside fellow bandmates One Direction, Styles settled on a series of more intimate dates for his first tour. It seemed Styles wanted to do things in the tradition of an “up-and-coming artist” rather than resting on his stadium-filling laurels.
The dates saw Styles perform at iconic venues like The Troubadour in West Hollywood and the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. As well as setting the perfect contrasting tone for his 1D days, his new soft-rock sound was validated by Stevie Nicks, who joined the young singer for a rendition of “Landslide.” Their vocals blended together during the performance as Styles began to shape up as a classic rock star for the new era.
4. Styles shares his second album, Thin line
While his debut album managed to define his personal sound, it was Styles’ sophomore effort that earned him his stripes.
Thin line took all the criticism surrounding the early classic rock pastiche, stuck to what worked, and made a few key tweaks to take things from a lucrative imitation to something deeply personal.
Opening with a bang, the dynamic “Golden” drops its second album in a special place and time – somewhere in Italy perhaps with the sun shining, up and down the fast lane. He steadily skims through the following tracks (including the singles “Adore You” and “Watermelon Sugar”) before stopping quickly for a few darker numbers (“Lights Up” and “To Be So Lonely”).
Rich in textures, sonic diversity and slightly more raunchy lyrics, the album was a welcome evolution in style, earning mainstream crossover success that often fired him during his boyband days.
5. “Watermelon Sugar”
One of the main catalysts for her mainstream success was the cheeky fourth single from Thin line, “Watermelon sugar.” Although Styles was “part of the furniture” for a long time in 2019, those singing his praises were usually fans who had been doing it since he first came out. The X Factor scene all those years ago – the rest of the world was slow to catch on.
With “Watermelon Sugar,” Styles made waves on popular radio and arguably delivered the summer song. All of a sudden it was more than stan twitter raving about the pop flavored gem, the whole world was having fun as Styles sang tastes like strawberries / a summer evening.
6. Love on Tour
Sustain Thin lineStyles began taking slightly larger stages, embarking on an arena tour he playfully dubbed Love On Tour.
With a fully fleshed out band (one that really should carry a Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers name, given the pivotal role they play in Styles’ zeitgeist) and a host of matured hits, the second foray of Styles on the Road was something to behold.
Bringing great energy from top to bottom, it was a series of performances worthy of such a breathtaking album.
Styles cemented her place at the top of the world by headlining the Coachella Music Festival. Opening night saw Styles perform through his touring show with some famous cameos and some glimpses of what was to come on his third album.
The festival’s first weekend saw Shania Twain join Styles for a delightfully upbeat duet of her 1997 hit “Man! I Feel Like a Woman!” before slowing things down for one of Styles’ personal favorites (he also sang it was Kacey Musgraves on his first tour) “You’re Still The One.”
On weekend two, Lizzo joined Styles for an equally iconic performance of Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive.” The duo, who have long expressed their close friendship, ran around the stage in matching faux fur coats, clearly having fun.
His appearance at the festival proved that Styles could do more than surprise his die-hard fans, he could muster the energy and stage presence worthy of a festival headliner.
8. Styles shares his third album, Harry’s house
To announce his highly anticipated third album, Harry’s houseStyles did a broadcast in Better Homes & Gardens, an outlet better known for peddling the finer aspects of home decor than supporting musicians’ endeavors.
Although at first glance the partnership seems a little off, after the release of said album, everything started to come together – Harry Styles is now a lifestyle influencer.
Whether Harry Styles was his world premiere and Thin line was his ticket to the big time (albeit twice), Harry’s house was a statement that Styles isn’t afraid to do things his way. Almost abandoning the soft-rock tones of his early work entirely in favor of modern alternative flavors, Styles isn’t aiming for anything too lofty on his latest album. Instead, he wants to focus on the simpler things in life: being happy in love, having fun, and slowing things down.
Bold, adventurous and more referential than his previous work, his third album marks a new evolution for Styles. A trend that we can only expect to see continue in the future.
9. Styles’ take on stadiums
As previously stated, Styles and his fellow 1D members are no strangers to stadium shows. From Los Angeles to Sydney, five-room theaters regularly sell out with over 70,000 capacities. Although Styles probably could have very easily maintained this streak before he even released his first solo single, Styles decided to get down to business by building his new identity from the ground up.
Whether he felt he earned it or it was just the inevitable march of things, Styles soared to the top for the second time, embarking on an extension of his Love On Tour, this time with dates from stadium.
Added some selections of Harry’s housethe already colossal tour has been revamped to fill the biggest gap, proving once again that Styles is a force to be reckoned with.
ten. don’t worry darling and my policeman
After the success of his first film role (accompanied by a small appearance in the end credits of Marvel’s Eternals), Styles is set to appear on the big screen again in upcoming films. don’t worry darling and my policeman.
The first sees Styles star alongside Florence Pugh in a bizarre drama helmed by director and current girlfriend Olivia Wilde. The film’s initial trailer generated widespread buzz around the project, with Styles seeming to play a much larger role than him in the near absence of dialogue. Dunkirk.
The latter is a period drama with Styles caught between his fiancée (Emma Corrin) and a museum curator (David Dawson), who claims an equally important role for Styles.
It’s been five long years since fans have been able to see Styles in action on the big screen. After successfully delivering three lauded albums, it looks like Styles is making a bold statement: He’s not afraid to have it all.
(Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)