As most already know, British singer Harry Styles rose to fame as one-fifth of One Direction in 2010 after the group was put together on Simon Cowell’s competition show The X Factor. However, what not everyone knows is that Styles invented the group’s name.
During an interview with Tony Dokoupil for CBS Sunday Morning in 2017, the Sign of the Times hitmaker recalled that it was he who suggested they should be called One Direction. “I thought it sounded good. We messed around with names a bit,” he explained of the meaning of the name. “I suggested it and everyone was like, ‘Yeah, we like that,’ and then it kind of stuck and that was it.” One Direction didn’t win The X Factor, but they did take third place. However, their off-show success proved who the real winners were. As noted by Billboard, One Direction has had four albums topping the US Billboard 200 chart and has shifted over 44.5 million equivalent album sales, according to ChartMasters.
Since parting ways from One Direction in 2015, Styles has opened up about how he really felt about pursuing a music career away from his castmates.
Harry Styles felt “free” after One Direction.
Going solo after gaining notoriety as a member of a hugely successful group can be daunting for some singers. For Harry Styles, he was more concerned about finding his true identity outside of One Direction. After all, he’d spent the last seven years of his life as a public celebrity and needed to figure out who he was without the fame. In a 2022 cover story interview with Better Homes & Gardens, the “Late Night Talking” hitmaker said he “felt free” when he signed the contract for his solo career.
However, this freedom did not prevent him from feeling all sorts of emotions up to this point. “There were so many years, especially in the band and the first few years that came out of it, I was just scared of it ending because I didn’t necessarily know who I was if I didn’t know Making music,” Styles explained. Continuing to explain his feelings, he shared, “[It was scary] because I came out of the band, and it was like, if I want to be taken seriously as a musician, then I can’t make fun music.”
Just like his time with One Direction, Styles’ solo career has also developed rapidly. On the US Billboard 200, all three of his solo albums have reached No. 1, while his second No. 1 single “As It Was” spent 10 weeks at the top of the US Hot 100.
Harry Styles wouldn’t rule out a One Direction reunion
Fans have been wondering for a while if there will ever be a reunion with One Direction. During an appearance on The Spout Podcast, Harry Styles was asked about the possibility.
“I do not know. I mean, I think it’s really nice to think about,” he said, before reminiscing about the albums the group had made. “I think we’ve all been through something very special together and there’s a lot of love in it. So yeah, I think if there’s a moment where we can get it right, that would be awesome.” Although Styles’ solo music has been hugely successful, according to The Official Charts, he hasn’t shied away from One Direction’s back catalog, when he performed “What Makes You Beautiful” on his Love On Tour shows.
Styles isn’t the only One Direction member who’s been asked about a reunion. In an interview with the Mirror in 2021, Liam Payne admitted he had spoken to Louis Tomlinson and revealed both said they should all consider performing together again “sooner rather than later”.