Harry Styles is an enigma.
He’s a singer, songwriter, performer, actor, pop culture icon and the most flamboyant stage actor who dances in scarves, pearl necklaces, sequined sleeveless jumpsuits and, for- above all, a joy of living.
He loves everyone. He hugs his fans and reads placarded messages for gender reveals and crowd proposals.
He cries on stage as 80,000 fans sing every word of his latest hit, As it was.
This year alone, we’ve seen the former member of boy band One Direction draw massive audiences to major stadiums and music festivals around the world, be cast in a stream of Hollywood movies and perform with the TV host. late-night American James Corden to make a music video for $300 in a random New York apartment.
He’s been nominated for six MTV Video Music Awards and seems to release a book about himself every few months – the latest, Harry Styles, the making of a modern mancomes courtesy of the Sunday Times’ bestselling author Sean Smith.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg for the boy who was discovered in 2010 after auditioning for a UK music competition. The X Factor aged 16 from the Cheshire countryside in the UK.
Last week, Texas State University announced it would become the first university in the world to offer a course exclusively on the work and influence of the British singer-songwriter who won the hearts of millions through to her music, beauty, humble personality and adorable dance routines.
History teacher Dr. Louie Dean Valencia, who holds a doctorate in early and late modern European history, will teach the class called Harry Styles and the Cult of Celebrity: Identity, the Internet, and European Pop Culture.
“This is what permanence looks like. Let’s go! wrote the huge Styles fan on Twitter.
The story of his life
When Styles walked into X-Factor Studios 12 years ago, the judges thought his first solo audition was great, but they had bigger plans.
Future One Direction members including Liam Payne, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik and Louis Tomlinson also auditioned, with judges concluding the young teens were better equipped as a group than as solo artists.
They achieved worldwide fame in four tours as a handsome quintet, following in the footsteps of other hit stories including Manchester band Take That, New Kids on the Block, ‘N Sync and the Spice Girls, using media social media and merchandise to propel their fan base. .
Their first single in 2011, What makes you beautifulwas a commercial and international success, but it was their 2014 music video featuring and directed by Hollywood royalty Danny deVito in the desert somewhere that was transformable.
DeVito said Harry represented “love”. And he was right.
In 2016, One Direction went on indefinite hiatus and Styles rocketed into the international celebrity filler arenas, developing an enviable fashion style and eschewing the social media bandwagon.
“When you look at the history of people coming out of bands and starting solo careers, they feel this need to apologize for being in the band. ‘Don’t worry, everybody, it wasn’t me! Now I can do what I really want to do. But we loved being in the band,” he said. Variety in 2020.
“I think there is a desire to pit people against each other. And I don’t think it was ever in question for us. This is a next step in evolution. The fact that we all achieved different things outside of the band says a lot about how hard we worked there.
He auditioned for a role in Christopher Nolan’s epic in 2017 Dunkirkand beat thousands of others to land his first acting role.
rolling stone said her bit part performance was done with “subtle grace and no pop star showboating”.
He stood out.
Meanwhile, his talent as a “skilled lyricist with a terrific ear for harmony and melody” saw his star rise to the clouds.
At the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards last year, he received three nominations for Best Pop Vocal Album (Thin line), Best Pop Solo Performance (watermelon sugar) and Best Music Video (adore you).
It won the award for Best Pop Solo Performance.
After dancing on stage at California’s Coachella music festival, where his costumes and style set a new benchmark in live musical performance, Harry’s transformation was complete.
Variety pointed out that he “is proud of his gender-neutral portfolio”, which included wearing a Gucci dress on the cover of Vogue in December 2020.
“Do not wear [something] because it’s women’s clothing, you’re excluding a whole world of great clothing. And I think what’s exciting right now is that you can wear whatever you like. It doesn’t have to be X or Y. Those lines are getting blurrier and blurrier,” he says.
vogue points out that he has been a pescatarian, meditates and does pilates, and is interested in global issues, including the Black Lives Matter uprising around racial injustices in the United States.
So what is Professor Louie going to teach his students?
On July 22, Professor Louie told the Texas Standard that while he himself was a huge fan of Harry (and is also writing a book about him), he was motivated to create the course because of his students.
During the pandemic shutdowns, on Zoom they often talked about Harry and all seemed to share the same interest in social issues.
From inclusivity at concerts, to political issues, to sustainability, it seemed like Harry, who has 46 million Instagram followers, was on their wavelength.
The university course will examine the cultural and popular development of modern celebrity as it relates to issues of gender, sexuality, race, class, fandom, and internet culture.
“On his first tour, many of his gigs were given to local charities that were in the towns and villages he visited on tour, which is quite unusual for many musicians to give up part of their their money to support local causes and the places they visit,” said Professor Louie.
“One of the ideas for the class is really trying to get into the idea of celebrity and how to use your platform to make change in today’s world.
“For a lot of college students, this is a question they ask themselves all the time when they get new followers or share their lives or try to make some kind of change.
“Since his rise to fame…a lot has changed. And so, while most history classes don’t have the opportunity to really delve into the recent past, this class will give them the opportunity to explore things that they have experienced.
As for Harry’s next move?
People reports he was dating director Olivia Wilde, 38, after meeting her on the set of a psychological thriller don’t worry darling (in theaters in September).
He has also completed filming a 1950s romance set in Brighton, England, titled my policemanslated for release this year.
Harry Styles solo Love on Tour 2022 continues in Spain and Portugal and he will arrive Down Under for six concerts from Perth in February next year.