OP-ED: Harry Styles is One of the Most Influential Artists of Our Time


Alyssa Boudreau

Harry Styles began his musical career when he was just 16 years old auditioning for the X-Factor. However, his impact from that moment on would only grow in every country for every demographic.

His career took off at the start of the boyband One Direction, which was widely popular. Over the years that the band was still together, they embarked on four world tours and five total albums. One Direction had grossed over $500 million dollars during their tours and they had an estimated three million fans who visited their shows. However, their popularity has not died since they separated. During their 10 year anniversary, over 75 million people visited their website, proving that the boyband was not just a fad amongst young girls. Each artist decided to discover themselves when they took their break, and Harry Styles has flourished since then.

During the boy band, he began discovering both singing and songwriting talent. He has written songs for other famous artists such as Ariana Grande’s “Just a Little Bit of Your Heart,” and Alex and Sierra’s “I Love You.” Not only that, but Harry Styles has released two albums; one being his debut ​Harry Styles​ album and the other ​Fine Line.​ ​Fine Line​ had reached number one on the Billboard top 200 charts as well. Not only is his music unique, but it tells a story about his struggles with his identity and other issues that he has encountered.

In addition, Styles has been expanding his resume to on screen acting work. He landed a lead role in the award winning 2017 movie ​Dunkirk​, and is starring in another movie ​Don’t Worry Darling.​ There has been recent speculation about the probability of him starring in the upcoming Marvel movie called ​The Eternals.​ He has not limited himself in terms of only being a singer, but rather expanded to other aspects of the entertainment industry.

Through his music and expression, Harry Styles became an icon for the LQBTQ community. He has crushed the standards of societal expectations of gender expression and believes in feeling comfortable in your own skin. Harry Styles told a spokesperson for The Guardian, “What women wear. What men wear. For me it’s not a question of that.” He has been vocal towards his reluctance against labels of his own sexuality, remarking that no one should care about another person’s preference. His desire to not conform to society’s mainstream ideas have drawn many people to his openness and genuine nature, therefore expanding his fanbase.

His success stemmed from his largely successful musical career in both One Direction and his solo career, and Harry has not shied away from political and moral issues such as the Black Lives Matter Movement and LGBTQ rights in America. He has gone to BLM protests, despite being British. He uses his platform as an opportunity to shed light upon critical issues that may impact his fanbase and use it for good. During his solo world tour, he donated over a million dollars to various charities, along with promoting voter registration amongst his fans.

Not only has his career been largely successful so far, but his authenticity has drawn millions of people across the globe to his character. He has overcome the challenges of not being his authentic self, and therefore has been an inspiration for other people to see that change is healthy. He’s an activist, singer, songwriter, actor, but most importantly, Harry Styles is an artist that provides a safe atmosphere for anyone who will listen.