Harry Styles has been quietly working on his solo album since One Direction announced their hiatus back in 2016. With much anticipation, the 23-year-old singer/songwriter has finally unleashed the album's lead single titled "Sign of the Times" via Erskine and Columbia Records.
Written by Styles, Ryan Masci and Mitch Rowland, the pop-rock ballad shows influence from British rock from the early 1970s. Styles said in an interview with Rolling Stones that the song was inspired by a mother who's dying after giving birth. "The song is written from a point of view as if a mother was giving birth to a child and there's a complication," he shared, adding, "The mother is told, 'The child is fine, but you're not going to make it.' The mother has five minutes to tell the child, 'Go forth and conquer.' "
Following its release on April 7, the nearly-six-minute track has received mixed reviews from music critics. The song shortly catapulted to No. 1 on the U.K. Singles Chart, dethroning Ed Sheeran's run of 13 weeks at the top of the chart with "Shape of You". In the U.S., "Sign of the Times" debuted at No. 4 on Billboard Hot 100 chart.
On the heels of releasing the song, Styles announced his album release date, the album art and the track list. Laced with 10 songs in total, the self-titled album features songs such as "Meet in the Hallway", "Carolina" and "Ever Since in New York", which he debuted on "Saturday Night Live" on April 15.
Styles is said giving authenticity on his upcoming album. "Harry has stepped up with the vision of someone who's authentic," Columbia Records CEO Rob Stringer told Billboard earlier this year. "We obviously want everything to be beautifully done, because we think he’s here to stay." The upcoming set is set to hit the shelves on May 12.
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HARRY STYLES BIO
Harry Edward Styles, widely known as Harry Styles, was the person behind the choosing of the name One Direction when he was put together with Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Zayn Malik and Lois Tomlinson by Simon Cowell to form a singing group. He auditioned for the British show "The X Factor" in 2010, singing a rendition of Stevie Wonder's "Isn't She Lovely", but was sent home before finals. After that, he was re-called and placed in the new group act for the rest of the competition. The boys finished in the third place and were immediately signed to Syco music label which is owned by Simon Cowell. » more
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