"You're never going to get used to walking into a room and having people scream at you," says Harry Styles. "There's a lot of things that come with the life which you could get lost in. But I've learnt not to take everything too seriously"
Even those who have never heard of One Direction are probably still familiar with the band's charming, curly-haired singer.
In the last two years, the world has fallen in love with the pop hero. And we just can't seem to get enough – whether watching him perform or hearing about his personal life. It's hard to remember that before 2010, he was an unknown…
Harry Edward Styles was born on February 1, 1994, in Evesham, Worcestershire. When he was seven, his parents divorced and Harry and his older sister Gemma were brought up in the beautiful village of Holmes Chapel, Cheshire, by their mum Anne.
"That was a really weird time," he later recalled. "I remember crying about it. I didn't really get what was going on properly. I was just sad that my parents wouldn't be together anymore".
Harry has remained incredibly close to his mum, who happily went on to remarry. "Sometimes, he phones up to five times a day," she has said. "When there’s a time difference, he tends to text saying, ‘I love you, Mum,’ or ‘I miss you’. He’s still my little boy.”
Before his life changed forever on The X Factor
Harry had already developed a keen interest in music as the lead singer of a school band called White Eskimo.
By the time the X Factor
auditions came round in 2010, Harry, then 16, had just finished his GCSE exams, and planned to return to college in September to study law, sociology and business – but, of course, that was not to be.
Joined by his supportive mum, stepfather Robin and sister, Harry auditioned as a solo act for the hit show, singing Isn't She Lovely
by Stevie Wonder.
He impressed two of the three judges – Nicole Scherzinger
and Simon Cowell –
and made it through to the next round. Like his future band mates, Harry failed to progress into the category for solo males though, and his X Factor
dream appeared all but over. But then guest judge Nicole suggested putting five of the 'rejects' into a band. The rest, as they say, is history.
It was Harry who came up with the name One Direction, and just two weeks after they were put together, the boys performed their first song as a group – an acoustic version of Torn
. They were an instant hit with the British public and ended up finishing in third place.
Immediately after The X Factor
, Harry signed up to Simon's Syco Records label, along with the four other hopefuls. His colleagues were Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson.
In September 2011, the boys released their debut single, What Makes You Beautiful
. It entered the UK charts at No. 1 as the most pre-ordered Sony Music Entertainment single in history.
It was by no means the last record they would set. After signing with Columbia Records in the States, 1D released the track in America in February 2012 – and their domination of the US began.
Their first album, Up All Night
, was released globally at the start of 2012. It became the UK's fastest-selling debut album and topped the charts in 16 countries – including the US.
One Direction had become the first British group in US chart history to enter at number one with a debut album, securing their place in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Since then, the boys have been unstoppable –
picking up Brit and MTV Music awards, embarking on two huge tours, performing at the London 2012 Olympics closing ceremony.
The pop pin-ups also released a second studio album, sang for the Queen at the 2012 Royal Variety Performance and headlined a sold-out show at New York's Madison Square Garden.
Making almost as many headlines as the band was Harry himself. Towards the end of 2011 Harry, then 17, began dating Xtra Factor
host Caroline Flack
, some 15 years old his senior.
The couple ignored the criticism and were together for about three months before splitting up in January 2012. Harry spoke out on Twitter to refute claims that he was the one who ended relationship.
"Please know I didn't 'dump' Caroline," he tweeted, "This was a mutual decision. She is one of the kindest, sweetest people I know. Please respect that."
Nevertheless, his reputation as a ladies' man was established and since then the tattooed star has been romantically linked to a host of beautiful women, from Cara Delevingne
and Rita Ora
to Made in Chelsea
's Caggie Dunlop
and actress Emily Atack
At the end of 2012, Harry began stepping out with pop princess Taylor Swift
The high-profile couple went public with their romance in November, and their relationship very quickly progressed. For Taylor's 23rd birthday – on December 13 – Harry whisked her off to Cheshire to meet his family and enjoy a mini break in the Lake District.
Then the lovebirds jetted to New York for New Year's Eve, followed by a holiday together in the Caribbean. But it was there their romance abruptly ended.
His relationship with Taylor might not have gone the distance, but Harry certainly isn't lacking female attention.
has declared herself a big fan, saying, "I watch their videos and I remember thinking, 'Wow, he's a star'. He seems very sure, It seems like it's so natural to him".
And then there is Girls Aloud beauty Cheryl Cole
. "Harry? I've seen Harry in his boxers shorts!" she told Sugarscape
. "Harry's a little brother type, but I get it; the girls go crazy for him –
and so do the women!"