Future Stars: Harry Styles (Columbia)

Taken from this week’s Future Pop mailer. Click here to subscribe.

It’s a shame not to have any music to review in this post, but by the time I send the next Future Pop, Harry Styles will already be a successful solo artist with a no.1 hit under his belt. His debut single Sign of the Times is released on Friday and he’ll perform it on Saturday Night Live a week later. Harry’s solo stardom has always been so certain that I would have featured him here the week I first saw his X Factor audition, or the week What Makes You Beautiful was released, if Future Pop had existed at the time. The only seed of doubt comes from the astronomical expectations, which he could never fulfil. But once he’s had a wobble (the “difficult second album,” perhaps), I believe he’ll get back on track and enjoy a long career. It’s natural to compare the 1D solo ventures to Take That, and wonder who is the Gary or Robbie, but I think Harry might actually be the Beyoncé. It took her a while to get into her stride as a solo artist after Destiny’s Child, and Kelly even had the upper hand for a brief moment, but it seems crazy now that her future was ever in doubt. I think that’s how we’ll see Harry in years to come. He certainly doesn’t have the talent of Beyoncé, but he has the star quality that even some of the biggest artists of today lack, and a special place in the hearts of millions of girls, creating a loyalty that is extremely hard to break. Take That are still selling albums, despite stealing the UK’s money and becoming totally unlistenable, after all!

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