Lil Nas X
Mason Crest MIAMI
Mason Crest PO Box 221876, Hollywood, FL 33022 (866) MCP-BOOK (toll-free) www.masoncrest.com
Copyright © 2023 by Mason Crest, an imprint of National Highlights, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission from the publisher.
Printed in the USA
First printing 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 ISBN (hardback) 978-1-4222-4685-6 ISBN (series) 978-1-4222-4683-2 ISBN (ebook) 978-1-4222-7131-5
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Names: Bach, Greg, author. Title: Harry Styles / Greg Bach. Description: Hollywood, FL : Mason Crest, 2023. | Series: Pop music stars | Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifiers: LCCN 2022004105 | ISBN 9781422246856 (hardback) | ISBN 9781422271315 (ebook) Subjects: LCSH: Styles, Harry, 1994—Juvenile literature. | Singers–England–Biography–Juvenile literature. | LCGFT: Biographies. Classification: LCC ML3930.S89 B33 2023 | DDC 782.42166092 [B]–dc23 LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2022004105
Developed and Produced by National Highlights, Inc. Editor: Andrew Luke Production: Crafted Content LLC (www.craftedcontentllc.com)
Contents BREAKTHROUGH ������������������������������������������������������������������ 6 CHAPTER 1: A STAR IS BORN ���������������������������������������������������� 1 1 CHAPTER 2: GREATEST MOMENTS ������������������������������������������������ 23 CHAPTER 3: BEHIND THE CURTAIN ���������������������������������������������37 CHAPTER 4: BRAND HARRY STYLES ��������������������������������������������� 51 CHAPTER 5: MODERN MEGASTAR ������������������������������������������������65 SERIES GLOSSARY OF KEY TERMS ���������������������������������������������76 FURTHER READING & INTERNET RESOURCES ����������������������������������77 INDEX �������������������������������������������������������������������������������78 AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY & CREDITS ������������������������������������������������80
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Breakthrough Harry Styles took the unlikeliest of routes to stardom, turning a rejection in a singing contest into a career-making moment that has sparked a string of spectacular music while putting him on the fast track to becoming one of the most popular performers in the world today. Styles’ journey to greatness began on the set of The X Factor , a television music competition recorded in Manchester, England. Growing up, he constantly had tunes in his head and lyrics on his lips. Styles sang in the car, his bedroom, the shower; you name it. In 2010, his mom took the 16-year old to audition for The X Factor, a show created by well-known television personality and music executive Simon Cowell (his fingerprints are also on other mega-popular shows in the United States like American Idol and America’s GotTalent ). Burdened with nerves and with fears of messing up swirling in his head, Styles went on stage and sang the StevieWonder hit “Isn’t She Lovely.” The performance received a mixed bag of comments from the show’s three judges. One judge’s critiques were dipped in harshness, and his words bordered on confidence crushing, but the judge with the most clout (Cowell) also happens to have a knack for recognizing talent, and his eyes and ears told him there was something special in the youngster.
While his stay in the solo singing portion of the competition was short-lived, Cowell used his producer privileges to make a decision that would forever alter the path of Styles’ life and reverberate throughout the music industry in the years to come. He grabbed four other teen singers from the show who weren’t able to get far in the solo competition either—Louis Tomlinson, Niall Horan, Liam Payne, and Zayn Malik—and united them with Styles, thus creating the band, One Direction (Styles is said to have come up with the name), right then and there. The new band entered the group stage of The X Factor, and while One Direction didn’t win the competition, they did turn heads. Cowell signed them to a recording contract, and they quickly began gathering fans during a tour throughout the British Isles with other X Factor contestants. Then they stepped into the recording studios and rolled out their debut album Up All Night in 2011. During the ensuing years, Styles and the band became global
superstars. They churned out five albums, crisscrossed the globe for four world tours, and frequently resided all over the Billboard charts nearly every time they released a new song. They even pulled off the unthinkable, breaking a Beatles record by having fiveTop 10 debuts among the Hot 100. The record-breaking song was titled “Perfect,” which also perfectly describes the career of Styles. At the end of 2015, amid a haze of stunning success, One Direction took a much-needed break that quickly turned into a breakup. For Styles, unquestionably the most talented among the five, it was time to venture out on his own. Curious and creative, he was excited to confront new challenges and ready to push boundaries while untangling himself from the boy band label that had been attached to everything he did. Styles began writing songs and recording music, and his fan base swelled, and the rave reviews tumbled in. His solo career was off and running and rocketing in one direction—straight to the top.
Not First, or Second When Harry Styles was thrown together with four other teens and given a new return pass into the competition on The X Factor , there were no guarantees that this blending of unknown and untested voices would produce a successful venture or even ear-pleasing music. The challenges they faced were clear from the outset, as they didn’t even win the competition or come close to winning it. Matt Cardle claimed the top honors and is enjoying a successful career as a singer and songwriter, and soul singer Rebecca Ferguson finished a spot ahead of them in second. Styles and his bandmates did their best to work out the kinks of finding a way to unite their voices. They began with a cover of “Torn” by Natalie Imbruglia, and by the time the live shows arrived, they ramped up their performances and generated rave reviews
for nailing Coldplay’s “Viva LaVida” and “My LifeWould SuckWithout You” by Kelly Clarkson.
Relaxing Return When Harry Styles returned to The X Factor stage for the first time as a solo artist—seven years after that stress filled, stomach-turning audition as a teenager—he was polished, confident, and mega fabulous. Looking snazzy in a royal purple suit, Styles delivered a stunning performance of his hit “Kiwi” that had the packed
audience singing and swaying along to the high energy piece, while Simon Cowell and the judges were smiling and savoring the show from their seats in front of the stage. The memorable November evening marked the first time that any One Direction band member had performed on the stage solo. The emerging superstar was in the midst of promoting his self-titled debut album, and he also had a busy final few weeks to close out 2017 as his calendar was crammed with tour stops in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and Singapore.
WORDS TO UNDERSTAND demise —the end of the existence or activity of something or someone envelop —to enclose or enfold completely with or as if with a covering
menial —of or relating to servants; lowly mesh —to fit or work together properly swooned —to become enraptured
Leap to Greatness Harry Styles’ giant leap from popular boy band singer to superstar solo sensation took place in a blur of breathtaking brilliance that took much of the music industry by surprise. The talented teen flourished from the get-go, unbothered and untouched by issues that often stall or derail careers just finding their way out of the starting blocks. Stepping out as a solo performer, Styles headed straight into the searing spotlight of global stardom. Fans swooned over his music, savoring that super smooth voice that he was taking into uncharted territory while producing an assortment of songs that were resounding successes. Plus, often hard-to-please music critics were piling on the superlatives, marking Styles’ arrival as a world-class entertainer who can fill arenas across the globe. Besides the stunning voice, he brought the entire package that bolsters the voltage of star power these days: good looks, great hair, a dazzling smile, a big heart, character aplenty, and a unique ability to own the stage and take audiences along for a ride they’ll never forget. Of course, Styles also possesses a deep love and relentless, all-consuming passion for producing high-quality, must-hear music for the masses. Plus, his love of wearing bold, colorful, head-turning outfits—often leaning heavily toward the female side—merely adds to his persona as a megastar. It has been a remarkable
a star is born
journey that no one could have ever predicted when the singer first began taking an interest in music during his childhood years.
“I find myself looking at women’s clothes, thinking they’re amazing.”
Fractured Family He was born Harry Edward Styles on February 1, 1994, in Redditch, a town of roughly 85,000 residents in England. The town is situated about a two-hour drive northwest of London, the capital of the country. His parents are Anne Twist and Desmond Styles, and he has an older sister, Gemma. Styles grew up in a home that was filled with love—and lots of fun, too.Whenever Styles shares snippets of his childhood during interviews with various media outlets, there’s a gleam in his eye and a smile on his face as he reflects on those early years. Plus, music hummed along in the background of his adolescence as both his parents were music lovers with diverse tastes that stretched from country music star ShaniaTwain and singer and pianist Norah Jones to the legendary Rolling Stones and Seattle grunge/metal band Soundgarden. Later the family packed up their belongings and moved about 90 miles north to Holmes Chapel in Cheshire. Sadly, as those early years unfolded in their new home, marital discontent led to his parents divorcing when Styles was seven-years-old. The trauma that accompanies the demise of a marriage, and the uprooting of a comfortable family life, can often be difficult for children who are too young to fully grasp what is happening around them and how their lives will never quite be the same again.
“That was a really weird time. I remember crying about it. I didn’t really get what was going on properly. I was just sad that my parents wouldn’t be together anymore.”
Canadian country music singer ShaniaTwain is among the artists Styles grew up listening to.
a star is born
Pet Lover Growing up, there were always cute dogs roaming the house and cuddly cats lounging about, which led to his deep love for animals today. The family had a border collie named Max and several cats, including one named Dusty. His mom shared an old childhood photo of Styles with her, his sister, and their dog on her Instagram page (@annetwist). Freddie and Elvis Styles and his sister lived with their mom, who shouldered the bulk of the child-raising responsibilities. The love never stopped flowing despite the drastically different childhood that ensued, but there were tough moments and plenty of tears as the kids settled into their new life. During these life shifting moments—such as a divorce, a death, or a big move—children often find solace in different outlets that help nudge their attention away from the difficulties that have arrived on their doorstep. It could be discovering a sport to play, a hobby to dive into, or a group of friends to connect with, for example. For Styles, it was music that grabbed his attention, enveloped his soul, and placed him on a life-changing course that he could never have predicted was on the horizon at the time. After receiving a karaoke machine as a gift, Styles was fascinated by how entertaining he found it to be. He spent countless hours singing along to the different songs that were available on the machine. There were a couple of legendary performers who caught his attention during his initial flirtation with music while growing up: British singer Freddie Mercury, best known as the lead vocalist for the mega-famous rock bandQueen; andAmerican icon Elvis Presley, who sang and gyrated his way into the hearts of millions from the 1950s to the 1970s. As music began consuming Styles’ life and he started listening to a wide range of artists, lots of other well-known performers started becoming huge influences, such as Stevie Nicks of the world-famous
Styles names Rock and Roll Hall
of Famer Stevie Nicks as one of his significant musical influences.
a star is born
band Fleetwood Mac; English singer and songwriter David Bowie, a five-time GrammyAward winner; andCanadian singer and songwriter Joni Mitchell.
Listening and Learning Rather than simply listening to and enjoying their works, Styles started soaking in everything about them, which helped shape his sensibility and began to lay an important foundation for a career that was still a long way away from even its infant stages. Being a successful singer and performer entails much more than just having a superb voice (though that’s a great starting point and an obvious requirement). It’s about stage presence and controlling performances; for pop artists, body language and dance moves are important, interacting and connecting with the audience, and even the smallest of details such as how to hold a microphone. Styles listened, watched, and learned from these superstars. Some of them would even become not only great friends years later but admirers of his, too. After spending the bulk of his childhood years with his mom and sister, it’s interesting that many of the musical influences in his life are female. “I think ultimately feminism is thinking that men and women should be equal, right? People think that if you say ‘I’m a feminist,’ it means you think men should burn in hell and women should trample on their necks. No, you think women should be equal. That doesn’t feel like a crazy thing to me. I grew up with my mum and my sister—when you grow up around women, your female influence is just bigger. Of course, men and women should be equal. I don’t want a lot of credit for being a feminist. It’s pretty simple. I think the ideals of feminism are pretty straightforward.”
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