Harry Styles

A talented singer with floppy hair that set fans into a frenzy, Harry Styles auditioned for "The X Factor" (ITV, 2004- ) as a solo act but was instead grouped with fellow contestants Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson to form the boy band One Direction. After coming in third on the reality show, they hit No. 1 with their debut single "What Makes You Beautiful," scored the hit follow-up "Gotta Be You," and released their blockbuster debut album, 2011's Up All Night. Showered with European awards, fan adulation and commercial success, One Direction then moved to conquer America with appearances on "Saturday Night Live" (NBC, 1975- ) and "iCarly" (Nickelodeon, 2007- ) that coincided with the chart-topping release of their album stateside. Representing a new era of boy bands that seemed - at least on the surface - to be less packaged and more approachable, One Direction, as well as Harry Styles, seemed poised to enjoy considerable success on the global stage. After the band announced an indefinite hiatus in 2016, Styles moved into a more mature direction, delving into vintage '70s pop sounds on his debut solo album and co-starring in Christopher Nolan's intense war drama "Dunkirk" (2017). Born Feb. 1, 1994 in Evesham, England, U.K., Harold Edward "Harry" Styles grew up idolizing Elvis Presley and The Beatles. He was the lead singer for a local band, White Eskimo, which enjoyed some minor hometown success. Determined to make it as a singer, he auditioned as a solo act for "The X Factor" (ITV, 2004- ) in 2010, performing Stevie Wonder's hit single "Isn't She Lovely." Sent for additional training at the show's musical boot camp by the judges, Styles's rendition of "Stop Crying Your Heart Out" was deemed not strong enough for him to make the cut as a solo singer. Happily, this opened other professional doors for Styles, who was teamed with fellow contestants Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson to form One Direction, whose name was coined by Styles himself. As a boy band, they placed third on "The X Factor" and ascended to international superstardom with the 2011 release of their debut single, "What Makes You Beautiful." Hitting number one on the U.K. singles chart and breaking sales records, the song paved the way for a follow-up hit, "Gotta Be You," and their global smash debut album, Up All Night. Continuing their meteoric rise, the band notched a sold-out U.K. tour and won three 4Music Awards (Best Group, Breakthrough and Video), a Brit Award (Best British Single for "What Makes You Beautiful") and two U.K. Kids' Choice Awards (Favorite U.K. Newcomer and Favorite Band). Their European success led to their American breakthrough, with their album hitting No. 1 and One Direction replicating their European success in the States with a flood of endorsements, publicity appearances and television performances. They were featured as the musical guest (and appeared in a skit) on the Sofia Vergara-hosted episode of "Saturday Night Live" (NBC, 1975- ), booked a guest spot on "iCarly" (Nickelodeon, 2007- ), and announced plans for a 2012 world tour. Unlike the previous wave of boy bands, One Direction eschewed matching clothing and tightly choreographed dancing, radiating instead a seemingly less manufactured, less polished image. Although much of One Direction's appeal came from their unified front of playful energy, each member stood out in his own way. Styles' charm came from his artfully shaggy hair, winning personality and endearing quirks, including a brief relationship with the much older Caroline Flack and his love of being naked. Especially close to bandmate and roommate Louis Tomlinson, the twosome were jointly referred to affectionately as "Larry Stylinson" by fans. Three further hit albums followed before One Direction announced that the group was taking an indefinite hiatus in 2016. Styles began his solo career with a self-titled album in early 2017. Taking on a new musical direction that harkened back to vintage '70s pop artists like Elton John and Paul McCartney, Harry Styles enjoyed critical respect from many who had dismissed One Direction, and went to Number One in charts across the globe. That same year, Style made his film debut in Christopher Nolan's "Dunkirk" (2017), garnering solid reviews as a British army private in the midst of one of the defining battles of World War II. Writer/director Nolan claimed to be unaware of Styles' fame as a pop star when he cast the young actor for the role.