He’s “Golden.” Harry Styles is celebrating his 27th birthday on Monday, February 1. The former One Direction member has garnered a cult-like following over the years and his continued solo success has only made him a bigger star.
While he’s probably celebrating with new girlfriend, Olivia Wilde, we’re honoring the British pop star’s special day by taking a look back at some of the most insightful quotes he has shared over the years regarding his fashion, music, sexuality and more. Check out 27 of the most interesting things he’s said in various interviews and other platforms below.
“I think about it all the time and it kind of just reminds me how lucky I am to be doing it because I know there are hundreds of thousands of, if not millions of, musicians who are so far superior to me as a musician, and not everyone gets to do it,” Styles told Howard Stern of his success in 2020. “I do think some people make their own luck, but I also think so much of it is about luck and timing because when I look at it there’s no reason for it to have been me who got to do this, really.”
“I don’t want to be viewed as a womanizer or whatever,” he revealed in an interview with The Sun in 2012. “I don’t like going crazy crazy, I like having fun but it’s nice to wake up in your own bed, isn’t it?”
‘I’m not half as busy as they make me out to be! A lot of the time, the way it’s portrayed is that I only see women in a sexual way,’ Styles told Cosmopolitan in 2012. “But I grew up with just my mum and sister, so I respect women a lot.”
“When you’re writing songs, it’s impossible to not draw on personal experiences, whether it be, you know, traveling or girls or anything,’ Styles told E! in 2013. ‘You’re always gonna draw inspiration for things that you’re feeling, things that you’ve felt. It’s kind of impossible not to unless there’s an exact scenario that you’re trying to write a song for.”
“People tell me I’m a good singer. It’s normally my mum,” the then-16-year-old said when he auditioned for The X Factor in the spring of 2010, performing Stevie Wonders’ “Isn’t She Lovely” a cappella. “Singing is what I want to do and if people who can make that happen for me think I shouldn’t be doing that, then it’s a major setback in my plans.”
Referring to ex girlfriend Taylor Swift’s songs, “Out of the Woods” and “Style,” assumed to be about him, Styles told Rolling Stone in 2017, “I’m lucky if everything helped create those songs. That’s what hits your heart. That’s the stuff that’s hardest to say, and it’s the stuff I talk least about. That’s the part that’s about the two people. I’m never going to tell anybody everything.”
“I like to separate my personal life and work,” Styles explained to Rolling Stone in 2017. “It helps, I think, for me to compartmentalize. It’s not about trying to make my career longer, like I’m trying to be this ‘mysterious character,’ because I’m not. When I go home, I feel like the same person I was at school. You can’t expect to keep that if you show everything. There’s the work and the personal stuff, and going between the two is my favorite s–t. It’s amazing to me.”
“I felt very naked for a while,” Styles admitted to Vogue in 2017 about changing up his hair. “I was like yeah, I’ve gotta shave my hair off. It wasn’t a hard decision, it got made into a wig.”
“I didn’t want to make the same music we were making in the band. Not because I didn’t like it, I just wanted it to be a different thing,” Styles shared to Howard Stern in 2020 about the direction of his solo career after One Direction.
“I wouldn’t say I could fall in love at first sight, but maybe I just haven’t done that yet,” Styles told We Love Pop magazine in 2013.
“I think both music and fashion, main influence was probably Shania Twain,” Styles told Entertainment Tonight in 2017. “Yeah, I think she’s amazing.”
“When you separate it it’s easier to see it for what it is,” Styles told Vogue in 2017, when asked how he balances fame and family. “When you let it become everything and that’s your whole life, then it’s easy to get a bit lost in it. I’m lucky, I have amazing friends and my family’s amazing so I think they make it easier to keep the separation between the two which makes it easier for me.”
“The people that I looked up to in music — Prince and David Bowie and Elvis and Freddie Mercury and Elton John — they’re such showmen,” Styles told Vogue in 2020 about his gender-bending fashion. “As a kid, it was completely mind-blowing. Now I’ll put on something that feels really flamboyant, and I don’t feel crazy wearing it,” Styles said.
“I think if you’re making what you want to make, then ultimately no one can tell you you’re unsuccessful, because you’re doing what makes you happy,” he told NPR.
In an interview with British GQ for the magazine’s September 2013 issue, Styles said he was “pretty sure” he didn’t identify as bisexual. The comment was sparked by the interviewer asking Styles to address rumors about him and his friend, Nick Grimshaw, being in a relationship. After the singer said that they’re “just friends,” the interviewer asked: “So you’re not bisexual?” In response, Styles said, “Bisexual? Me? I don’t think so. I’m pretty sure I’m not.”
“Many borders are falling — in fashion, but also in music, films, and art,” Styles told L’Officiel Hommes magazine in 2019. “I don’t think people are still looking for this gender differentiation. Even if the masculine and feminine exist, their limits are the subject of a game. We no longer need to be this or that. I think now, people are just trying to be good. In fashion and other fields, these parameters are no longer as strict as before, and it gives rise to great freedom. It’s stimulating.”
“What’s feminine and what’s masculine, what men are wearing and what women are wearing — it’s like there are no lines anymore,” he told The Face in 2019.
While appearing on the cover of Vogue in a Gucci gown in 2020, Styles said “I think if you get something that you feel amazing in, it’s like a superhero outfit. Clothes are there to have fun with and experiment with and play with.”
Speaking to Variety last spring about the pandemic, Styles says, “It’s been a pause that I don’t know if I would have otherwise taken. I think it’s been pretty good for me to have a kind of stop, to look and think about what it actually means to be an artist, what it means to do what we do and why we do it. I lean into moments like this — moments of uncertainty.”
“What women wear. What men wear. For me it’s not a question of that,” Styles told The Guardian after attending the 2019 Met Gala in Gucci. “If I see a nice shirt and get told, ‘But it’s for ladies,’ I think: ‘Okaaaay? Doesn’t make me want to wear it less though. In terms of how I wanna dress… I want things to look a certain way. Not because it makes me look gay, or it makes me look straight, or it makes me look bisexual, but because I think it looks cool.
“I just think sexuality’s something that’s fun. Honestly? I can’t say I’ve given it any more thought than that,’ Styles told The Guardian in 2019.
“If I could vote in America, I’d vote with kindness,” Styles tweeted back in October along with a video of Joe Biden.
“I’ve been struggling to put into words how grateful I am for everything that’s happened over the last ten years, Styles wrote on Instagram last summer, along with a photo of himself with his 1D band mates hugging on stage. “I’ve seen things and places that I’d only ever dreamed of when I was growing up. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and working with some of the most incredible people, and gained friendships that I know I will treasure for the rest of my life.”
“I heard someone once say, if Twitter was a house party and you knew that 30% of everyone there was amazing and everyone else in there was really horrible to each other, you just wouldn’t go,” Styles told The Sunday Times on his sparing use of social media.
“There’s a freedom in the music that is so inspiring,” Styles told NPR about his appreciation for the 1970s. If you go back and listen to so much of that music, they sound so fresh. It’s people doing what they wanted to do. Obviously, the music business has changed so much since then — there was a lot more of everybody hanging out together and playing songs, and I feel like music is a lot more competitive now.”
“You can tell far too much about a person by which monopoly piece they play as,” Styles tweeted back 2014
“When you look at the history of people coming out of bands and starting solo careers, they feel this need to apologize for being in the band. ‘Don’t worry, everyone, that wasn’t me! Now I get to do what I really want to do.’ But we loved being in the band,” he told Variety in 2020. “I think there’s a want to pit people against each other. And I think it’s never been about that for us. It’s about a next step in evolution. The fact that we’ve all achieved different things outside of the band says a lot about how hard we worked in it.”