Harry Styles, today in Bologna the concert of the former One Direction

Fans who have purchased tickets for the parterre have been sleeping for five days in the tents set up on the lawn outside the arena: as soon as the gates open at 6.30 today, they will start running towards the barriers, to win the best position under the stage. It is useless to ask at the box office if there is any vacancy: when they went on sale, in November 2019 (the tour was scheduled, before the pandemic, in May 2020), 15 thousand tickets for the Harry Styles show at the UnipolArena in Bologna they were sold out within an hour, prompting the organizers to declare an immediate sold out. On social media, hardcore fans have been looking for clues about the hotel where the 28-year-old former singer of the British boy band One Direction, who has become one of the greatest entertainers of his generation, will stay for days.

Harry Styles in Rome, the singer in a restaurant in Piazza Navona

THE VOICE

Such scenes have not been seen since they arrived in Italy concert the great stars of international rock. On the other hand, the Italian fans of the voice of Sign of the Times, 15 million copies sold worldwide between albums and singles from the solo debut with the 2017 Harry Styles album, have waited two and a half years to finally be able to attend at one of his shows. And that tonight in Bologna will be one of the only two occasions to listen to the hits of the British singer-songwriter live, who after the date tomorrow night at the PalaAlpitour in Turin will close the European branch of his Love On Tour 2022 in Portugal, before returning to the US (where the tour, which has already grossed 95 million dollars, started a year ago). Since the announcement of the tour Harry Styles, who on stage offers a show lasting an hour and a half to the notes of his hits, ranging from glam to country, has consolidated his popularity, both in terms of music and image: “It’s the new me, you can see it has an edge, ”said Robbie Williams, someone who knows something about long-lived careers beyond boy bands. The album Harry’s House, released in May (with the previous Fine Line in the US charts for 121 weeks), sold 630,000 copies in the first seven days between the United States and the United Kingdom: the single brought it forward by a month. As It Waswhich in the first 24 hours of its release totaled 8.3 million streams in the United States, becoming the most listened to in one day in the history of Spotify in the US (in the rest of the world it scored another 35.7 million plays).

ADVANCES

Also in April with Boyfriends and Late Night Talking Styles he had offered other previews of the disc during his two performances at Coachella: the shows were among the most tweeted of the American festival. Not just for the choice of bringing 56-year-old country star Shania Twain back to the stage as a special guest. But also for the political stances of the singer-songwriter, who wearing a dungaree with sequins told the audience: «Small changes make the difference. It’s about being kinder to one another. “

Harry Styles helps an Italian fan come out during the concert

FLUID

Gender fluid icon who is not afraid to wear women’s clothes for magazines, to those who ask him about his sexual orientation Styles, a proud supporter of the lgbt community who during his concerts brings fans who want to come out on stage, answers that “trying to label sexuality is obsolete.” In Michael Grandage’s film My Policeman, he plays a policeman who falls in love with another man in England in 1950 (it was a crime at the time): it will be released on 21 October and there are explicit sex scenes. “Whenever you raise barriers in your life, you limit yourself,” says Styles, who has been engaged for two years to actress and director Olivia Wilde, who is ten years older than him. With Wilde, who wanted him among the protagonists of his new film Don’t Worry Darling, Harry will be at the Venice Film Festival in September. From 2023 the University of Texas will host a course entirely dedicated to him: Harry Styles and the cult of celebrity: the culture of identity, the Internet and European pop. The boy band is a distant memory.

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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