Harry Styles leaves One Direction’s management, solo career expected next

By @chelean on
British singer Harry Styles from the band One Direction
British singer Harry Styles from the band One Direction arrives to attend the presentation of the Burberry Autumn/Winter 2014 collection during London Fashion Week February 17, 2014. Reuters/Olivia Harris

Following Zayn Malik’s lead, Harry Styles is also reportedly splitting from One Direction. Arguably the most popular boy in the group, Styles has split from One Direction’s management, which could be interpreted as going on a separation direction from the British band.

Just a few days after Zayn released his first lead single, “Pillowtalk,” Harry is now expected to be the latest member to leave the band that made him rich and famous. He has officially left Modest Management, the band’s management team, and has signed with Jeffrey Azoff, according to Billboard.

“We wish Harry the very best. It has been a real pleasure working with him,” Modest’s Richard Griffith and Harry Magee told Billboard in a statement. “Harry is a total gentleman, and we know our good friend Jeffrey Azoff will look after him.”

While leaving the band’s management team doesn’t automatically means he is leaving the band itself, it could go in that direction eventually.

The news was first reported by The Sun, which said the 21-year-old heartthrob is cutting all ties to the chart-topping group.

“Harry is done with One Direction. He wants to completely disassociate with the band and that includes any professional connection,” a senior music insider told the tabloid. “His new team will be about launching him as a solo superstar by around this time next year so the work is starting now.”

Harry and US top agent Azoff are also apparently discussing investing in a new Hollywood management company.

And if it’s true that Harry will be leaving the band after cutting ties with their management team, the burning question would be: What would happen to the band? Harry, with his strong tween fanbase, will undoubtedly lead the charts should he launch his solo career. But how about the remaining members of One Direction, Niall Horan, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson?

History on disbanding boy bands tells fans that a group’s future would not be as bright as it had once been when one or two of its most popular members leave for a solo career.

When Justin Timberlake left NSYNC in 2004, the band’s popularity suffered until they all formally quit in 2005. British group Take That also folded a year after Robbie Williams left in 1995.

Meanwhile, Zayn’s “PillowTalk” has received over 27 million views on YouTube, a few days after it was released. This success would perhaps give Harry the extra boost he needs to leave One Direction.