Harry Styles has signed a solo recording contract with his One Direction label Columbia Records, sources told Billboard. The news of Styles’ solo career comes less than a year after the band announced an indefinite hiatus.
Styles is the second member to leave the world’s most famous boy band, as former member Zayn Malik left in March 2015 to “be a normal 22-year-old.“ Malik released a solo album, “Mind of Mine,” in March 2016.
Rumors of a solo Styles project swirled in late 2015, when the singer registered four songs with the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. Styles has 40 songs registered on ASCAP, yet they all list One Direction as the performer. However, the four new songs he’d registered — “5378 Miles,” “Already Home,” “Coco” and “Endlessly” — only list Styles as the performer.
The 22-year-old also joined Full Stop Management in March 2016, headed by former Creative Artists Agency executive Jeffrey Azoff, who had Styles as a client previously.
There is currently no set details on the deal or timeline for Styles’ solo project, but rest assured that hearts are breaking for 1D fans all over the world, who will likely see this as a sign of no return for the boy band.
The group's mentor, Simon Cowell, told Billboard after One Direction's hiatus announcement, "I don't know if it's a hiatus or a breakup, to be honest. In a weird way, I don't want to know," he said. "I don't think they've had enough time to experience what it's like not being in the group to really answer that."
Luckily, fans have the band's five chart-topping albums to soothe their hearts, because it looks like "Midnight Memories" might be all they have left of their beloved One Direction.