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As a member of the British boy band One Direction, singer Harry Styles topped the charts, toured the world, and sold millions of albums before going solo in 2016. Born in Redditch, England in 1994, Styles was raised in Holmes Chapel, Cheshire, and he made his first foray into music with a high-school band named White Eskimo. In 2010, he left home and joined the seventh season of The X Factor, where fate (and Simon Cowell) would eventually lead him toward a life-changing opportunity with four other young men. As One Direction, Styles and his group mates Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson, Niall Horan, and Liam Payne would release five albums from 2011 to 2015, hitting number one across the globe and selling millions of records to an adoring and rabid fan base that drew comparisons to the fervor at the height of Beatlemania. In early 2016, after Malik had already parted ways with 1D, the remaining foursome announced their indefinite hiatus. Months later, Styles signed a solo deal with Columbia Records. Reflecting the influence of childhood favorites like Queen, Elton John, and the Beatles, Styles' solo material took a more serious and rock-based approach, while still delivering the pop sound his faithful 1D fans desired. With the help of Grammy-winning producer Jeff Bhasker (who had worked with Kanye West and Bruno Mars), Styles put together a small band and, after rehearsing the songs, headed to Jamaica for two months to record an album. "Sign of the Times," a plaintive ballad, was released as its first single in April of 2017. The self-titled full-length followed in May and debuted at the top of the Billboard 200. Read more on Last.fm
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