Harry Styles' Career in Photos

From The X Factor to solo sensation: Look back at the singer's rise to superstardom

01 of 18

He's Got the X Factor

Harry Styles
Dave Hogan/Getty

In 2010, Harry Styles (then just 16 years old) auditioned for The X Factor with Stevie Wonder's "Isn't She Lovely."

At the time, Styles was the lead singer in a band with his friends at school, White Eskimo. He said in his X Factor debut, "Singing's what I want to do and if people who can make that happen for me don't think that I should be doing that, that's a major setback in my plans."

While Styles wasn't chosen to compete as a solo artist after the show's "bootcamps," it wasn't quite the "setback" he had envisioned it would be. Instead, he was asked to join a group with future One Direction bandmates Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, Niall Horan and Zayn Malik.

The group finished in third place in the competition.

02 of 18

One Direction Success

Harry Styles
Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post via Getty

In 2011, the group released their first single, "What Makes You Beautiful," and their debut album, Up All Night. Soon thereafter, One Direction became the first British group to have their debut album hit No. 1 in the U.S.

03 of 18

Making History

one direction

The group went on to release four more wildly successful albums: Take Me Home in 2012, Midnight Memories in 2013, Four in 2014 and Made in the A.M. in 2015.

The band toured the world, with their 2014 tour become the highest-grossing of that year, according to Forbes.

That same year, Four debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart, making the band the only group in history to have their first four albums enter at No. 1, according to Billboard.

04 of 18

Five Becomes Four

Harry Styles
Mark Davis/DCNYRE2016/Getty

In March 2015, the group announced in a joint statement that Zayn Malik would be leaving One Direction.

"My life with One Direction has been more than I could ever have imagined," said Malik. "But, after five years, I feel like it is now the right time for me to leave the band. I'd like to apologize to the fans if I've let anyone down, but I have to do what feels right in my heart. I am leaving because I want to be a normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight."

He added, "I know I have four friends for life in Louis, Liam, Harry and Niall. I know they will continue to be the best band in the world."

In response to his statement, Malik's bandmates said, "We're really sad to see Zayn go, but we totally respect his decision and send him all our love for the future. The past five years have been beyond amazing, we've gone through so much together, so we will always be friends. The four of us will now continue."

05 of 18

Taking a Break

2015 American Music Awards - Arrivals
Steve Granitz/WireImage

In August 2015, the group announced that they would be taking an extended hiatus starting in March of the following year.

06 of 18

Going Solo

Graham Norton Show - London
Graham Norton Show - London. Harry Styles preforming during the filming of the Graham Norton Show at The London Studios, to be aired on BBC One on Friday. Picture date: Thursday April 20, 2017. Photo credit should read: PA Images on behalf of So TV. URN:30999261

In June 2016, Styles signed a solo deal with Columbia Records, dropping his self-titled album in May 2017. Harry Styles debuted at No. 1 in both the United States and the United Kingdom, with the album's lead single, "Sign of the Times," hitting No. 1 on the U.K. Singles Chart and No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100.

07 of 18

Live from New York

Harry Styles
Will Heath/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty

Styles appeared on Saturday Night Live in April 2017 to sing "Sign of the Times" and "Ever Since New York."

08 of 18

Lights, Camera, Action

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Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

In March 2016, Styles landed his first film role in Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk. The movie premiered in 2017, and though Styles' role was small, he was praised by critics. Entertainment Weekly wrote of his performance in a review of the film, "For the One Direction fans wondering, Harry Styles is also solid, seamlessly blending into the ensemble."

According to AP, the film's director said that he "cast Harry because he fit the part wonderfully and truly earned a seat at the table," after admitting, "I don't think I was that aware really of how famous Harry was."

09 of 18

Tour Time

Harry Styles
Kevin Mazur/Getty

The singer embarked on his first solo world tour in 2017, with tickets selling out in seconds. He added 56 dates to the tour as a result.

10 of 18

It's All Gucci

Harry Styles. BFA

Over the years, the star has become a fashion icon, whether he's wearing jumpsuits on stage, iconic sweaters that channel Princess Diana or gracing the cover of Vogue.

In 2018, the singer — who has really lived up to his last name (and whose last name possibly inspired a memorable song by one of his exes) — became the face of Gucci.

11 of 18

Met Gala Madness

harry styles
Harry Styles. John Shearer/Getty

In May 2019 the singer-turned-fashion icon was the co-chair of the Met Gala. He wore a showstopping Gucci ensemble, complete with high waisted trousers, sheer top and pearl earring.

12 of 18

Saturday Night's All Right

harry styles
Harry Styles. Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty

In November 2019, Styles returned to SNL, this time hosting and performing as a musical guest.

13 of 18

He's So Golden

Harry Styles
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

In December 2019, Styles released his second album, Fine Line, and became the first male artist from the U.K. to debut his first two albums at No. 1.

14 of 18

King of Covers

Harry Styles
Kevin Mazur/Getty

Though Styles has plenty of (very popular) songs of his own to sing, he has covered everyone from Fleetwood Mac to Lizzo, often leaving us wondering if the covers are an improvement on the original.

15 of 18

Famous Friends

Harry Styles and Stevie Nicks
Harry Styles and Stevie Nicks. Helene Pambrun

As Styles' sound shifted and began to show influences from '70s rock, he made an iconic friend: Fleetwood Mac's lead singer, Stevie Nicks.

In 2017, he sang alongside the legend during one of his shows in Los Angeles, with the pair covering "Two Ghosts," Fleetwood Mac's "Landslide" and Nicks' "Leather and Lace." In March 2019, Styles even served as the presenter who inducted Nicks into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Nicks said of Styles in an interview with Rolling Stone, "When Harry came into our lives, I said, 'Oh my God, this is the son I never had.' "

16 of 18

Acting Again

Don't Worry Darling Cast Wrap Olivia Wilde, Harry Styles
Asif Ali/Instagram

In 2020, Styles scored a role in Olivia Wilde's film Don't Worry, Darling alongside Florence Pugh (and started up a new relationship as a result of his time on set), and next starred in Amazon's My Policeman opposite The Crown star Emma Corrin.

17 of 18

Grammy Nods (and a Win!)

Harry Styles Treat People With Kindness
Harry Styles. Harry Styles/Youtube

Since going solo, Styles has won three American Music Awards, a Billboard Music Award, two Brit Awards and multiple iHeartRadio Music Awards. (He also recorded this music video with Phoebe Waller-Bridge, which counts as a win in itself.)

In 2021, he was nominated for three Grammy Awards: one for best pop vocal album for Fine Line, one for best pop solo performance for "Watermelon Sugar" and one for best music video for "Adore You." He took home best pop solo performance, telling the story behind the track in his heartfelt speech.

18 of 18

Welcome to Harry's House

Harry Styles performs onstage at the Coachella Stage during the 2022 Coachella Valley Music And Arts Festival on April 15, 2022 in Indio, California
Kevin Mazur/Getty

Did anyone have a bigger 2022 than Harry Styles? He received acclaim for his work in My Policeman and survived the wild Don't Worry Darling press tour, headlined Coachella with cameos from pals Lizzo and Shania Twain and sold out arenas around the country with his pop-perfect Love On Tour mini-residencies.

A cherry on top: he's up for six Grammys at the 2023 awards for his single "As It Was" and album Harry's House. He'll be performing on the Feb. 5 show, too.

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