Winner: Harry Styles. The former boyband heartthrob is heading in a new direction, and his solo endeavour is better than anyone could have hoped.
While his former One D bandmates launched their own solo careers over the past year, fans wildly speculated when the fan favorite member would make his own music. And what that music would even sound like. Zayn went the breathy, sexy pop route. Adorable Niall Horan went the opposite direction with his acoustic ballad This Town.
Styles’ dark and personal Sign of the Times, an indie rock/classic rock ballad, was an instant hit, earning the No. 1 slot on the Billboard + Twitter Top Tracks. But nothing secures a budding solo career quite like an appearance on Saturday Night Live.
The singer was quick to jump into sketches (a lot of musical guests don’t), and took on two characters between his set.
Styles fully committed to his impression of Mick Jagger on a Celebrity Family Feud sketch with a time travelling twist.
Styles as Jagger poked fun at himself, joking, “Solo? Why would anyone in a successful band go solo? That’s insane.”
In another sketch, Styles stole the show as a Rebel prisoner offering music advice to a group of Union soldiers converting a traditional war song into a pop banger. Please note that Styles’ beard falls off, but he handles it like a pro.
And while that’s all plenty enough reason to swoon over Styles, it was his recent interview with Rolling Stone that has everyone talking. Styles shared a lot about her personal life (yes, his relationship with Taylor Swift comes up) his family and how the self-titled debut album came to be. But most importantly, Styles defended his loyal teen girl fans, shutting down this idea that “good music” can only be determined by older men.
“Who’s to say that young girls who like pop music - short for popular, right? - have worse musical taste than a 30-year-old hipster guy? That’s not up to you to say. Music is something that’s always changing. There’s no goal posts. Young girls like the Beatles. You gonna tell me they’re not serious? How can you say young girls don’t get it? They’re our future. Our future doctors, lawyers, mothers, presidents, they kind of keep the world going. Teenage-girl fans - they don’t lie. If they like you, they’re there. They don’t act ‘too cool.’ They like you, and they tell you. Which is sick.”
Remember When You Hit the Brakes Too Soon (Lin-Manuel Miranda x Reader)
Prompt:Reader is a nurse practitioner in an ER. A patient of theirs enjoys Taylor Swift just a bit too much.
Summary:Lin tries enjoying tried enjoying a nice day by himself. Of course, something goes a tad bit wrong.
Word Count: 742
Author’s Note: This is literally my first fanfiction ever written. My writing skills have deteriorated. Hopefully, with practice, this will help! :)
Warnings: Mention of blood/hospital, in addition to my horrific writing.
“Hey, sorry to interrupt,” your coworker whispered to you. “[Y/N], you’re needed in room 306. It’s urgent.” he added.
“Thanks for letting me know,” you answered as you quickly concluded a visit with your patient. You then thanked them and headed to room 306.
After hustling from one end of the floor to the other, you knocked on the door of room 306. Popping your head in, you caught a glimpse of a man with two wads of bloody tissues shoved inside his nostrils. His shirt was bloody as well. He was pretty cute, despite the whole serial-killer vibe he had going on.
You walked in and smiled at the man that sat on the exam table. “Hello, I’m [Y/N]. I’ll be your caretaker for today,” you informed him as you walked over to him, reaching for some gauze.
“Lin-Manuel Miranda,” said the man, his words slurred from what sounded like a clogged nose. He held out a red-stained hand.
You chuckled. “I’ll get back to that handshake once you’re fixed up. Now, Mr. Miranda, take some of this gauze and hold it just below your nose. I just need to examine it nice and quickly, and I’m fairly sure that you wouldn’t prefer any more blood on that nice shirt of yours,” you proposed, carefully removing the tissue wads from his enlarged nose.
“Mhm,” he added, as his tissue-dams seemed to limit his speech.
After delicately and thoroughly feeling the swollen area, you nodded. “So, it isn’t too bad,” you posted, sitting on the swivel chair in the room. “Could’ve been worse. Your nose is, for sure, broken. The blood flow has stopped, and you seem to be easily breathing through both nostrils.” The patient nodded as you continued. “It won’t require surgery, though icing the swollen areas and scheduling a follow-up appointment would be recommended. It ought to heal by itself, but another check up in a few days wouldn’t hurt.”
Lin-Manuel nodded. “So,” he sniffed, “does another visit mean I’ll get to see you again?”
Flattered and amused, you answered, “Technically, I can’t guarantee that. But I think I can make it happen if I get to hear the story,” you chuckled.
He raised an eyebrow and laughed. “Alright, sounds like a plan. So, let me start off at the beginning of my day,” he began. “I wake up, ready to have this awesome day. And by that, I mean really awesome. I was going to go downtown, wander over to some over-priced restaurant and have coffee and read the paper, take a look over the marina, and head back home,” you nodded, as if to say ‘go on’. “So that’s exactly what I did! I was all giddy and I hop right in my car. My giddiness follows me all the way home as I rock out to some Taylor Swift with the windows down and-”
“Wait, wait, wait,” you had him pause. “Taylor Swift?”
He nodded. “What’s wrong with Taylor Swift?”
You smiled. “Nothing, but if it wasn’t from her self-titled album, your day could not have been that great.”
He shot you a smile back, adding, “I was jamming out to ‘Picture to Burn,’ so my day was, in fact, rightfully titled a great day. Anyways, back to the story! I’m driving down a back road, under the speed limit may I add, when a squirrel darts out right in front of my car! I slam on the breaks, my head whacking right into the steering wheel.” He clapped both hands together, representing his head and the steering wheel. “So, next thing you know, I have my lovely shirt shoved into my bloody nostrils because of a furry little demon. Although, I did have T-Swizzle accompanying me on my way to the ER,” he went on to say, laughing embarrassedly.
You laughed a bit too loud, then got a hold of yourself. “That has to be the best nose-breaking-story I have heard in my time as a nurse. I appreciate the story, Mr. Miranda.”
“Call me Lin,” he grinned. “And I look forward to seeing you next visit, [Y/N]. I may then possibly look a bit less like Dexter Morgan.”
“‘Till we meet again, Lin,” you beamed, returning the handshake from earlier, as promised, and lead him out.
‘A broken nose to save a squirrel. Huh.’ you thought in reverie, delighted with your day at work, looking forward to seeing Lin in the following few days.
Taylor Swift could release a pop album and I’d buy it.
Taylor Swift could release a country album and I’d buy it.
Taylor Swift could release a rock album and I’d buy it.
Taylor Swift could release a rap album and I’d buy it.
Taylor Swift could release a jazz album and I’d buy it.
Taylor Swift could release an R&B album and I’d buy it.
Taylor Swift could release an album of her cats purring and I’d buy it.
No matter what the genre, I will always support her. Her lyrics are always phenomenal, regardless of the genre they come in the form of.
Some illustrations I made for the Daily Bruin for an article about the 10th anniversary of Taylor Swift’s Fearless album. The request was silhouette-style with no eyes, so i tried to simplify it. The Fearless one was really difficult because her hair had no definite shape but i think it turned out okay thanks to the watercolor brush.
EDIT: @itsgonnabeaight corrected me! Fearless came out in 2008, Her self titled album, “Taylor Swift,” came out in 2006. The above pic was just what I was requested to do to show progression ahha.
Harry Styles addresses his sexuality: 'Everyone should just be who they want to be'
Harry Styles may be one of the most eligible men in pop music but the singer refuses to be drawn on his sexuality. It comes after the 23-year-old appeared to admit using his previous romance with Taylor Swift as inspiration for songs on his self-titled debut album.
In a candid interview with The Sun, the One Direction singer praises pop stars like Miley Cyrus for transcending labels and being open about her pansexuality. Styles said: “Being in a creative field, it’s important to be progressive. People doing stuff like that is great. It’s weird for me – everyone should just be who they want to be. It’s tough to justify somebody having to answer to someone else about stuff like that.”
When asked if he has labelled his own sexuality, Styles stated: “No, I’ve never felt the need to really. I don’t feel like it’s something I’ve ever felt like I have to explain about myself.”
Perhaps keen to focus on his successful solo career, Styles also revealed he is not using dating app Tinder.The British singer has been linked to several high-profile women over the last seven years, including Caroline Flack and Kendall Jenner. More recently has been said to be dating food blogger Tess Ward.
Reflecting on the public interest in his personal life, Styles said: “You just learn. It’s part of growing up. When we started I was 16. I’ve kind of learnt what makes me feel uncomfortable. That stuff to me doesn’t feel like anything I’ve had to explain.”
Since the release of his eponymous album on 12 May, fans have played detective to determine whether the tracks Ever Since New York and Two Ghosts are indeed written about his former girlfriend Swift, whom he dated briefly in 2012. Suggestive lyrics on Two Ghosts include: “Same lips red, same eyes blue/ Same white shirt, couple more tattoos/But it’s not you, and it’s not me.”
Appearing to confirm Swift as his muse for the song, Styles told Radio 1 Breakfast Show host Nick Grimshaw: “I think it’s pretty self-explanatory. I think, you know, it’s about sometimes things change and you can be, you know, do all the same things, and sometimes it’s just different. You know?”
Harry Styles’ solo album also features the songs Sign Of The Times and Carolina, and is expected to be a contender for the new number one in the UK.
Ten years on from her first single 'Tim McGraw' - a decade since our introduction to Taylor Swift
On June 19th 2006, Taylor Swift released her first single “Tim McGraw”, from her self-titled first album which wouldn’t arrive for another four months.
Prior to the release of the single, Swift had been signed by RCA Records as a song-writer at the age of 14, but fearful that the company wouldn’t let her perform her own material and give her songs to other artists, she soon jumped ship to Sony/ATV Publishing house.
Having worked with fellow songwriter Liz Rose and recording demos with Nathan Chapman, Swift was then lined-up with a series of high-end Nashville producers, but she convinced her executives at Sony and the newly created Big Machine Records to continue working with Chapman as the producer on her debut album.
From those album sessions, ‘Tim McGraw’ was chosen as the first single, having performed it solely on a ukulele to the executive of Big Machine Records, who said then and there to Swift “That’s your first single.” Swift placed the song at the top of her album, wanting listeners to instantly recognise the relatable emotion of “thinking about a relationship you had and then lost. I think one of the most powerful human emotions is what should have been and wasn’t… That was a really good song to start out on, because a lot of people can relate to wanting something you can’t have.”
The song reached No.6 on the Country Charts and No.40 in the Billboard charts, while the album went on to sell over 5,000,000 copies in the USA alone, but it wouldn’t be until February 2007 that Swift will follow up with the album’s next single, “Teardrops From My Guitar”. This was followed up by “Our Song”, which topped the Billboard Country Charts, and at the age of 18, this made Swift the first and youngest sole writer and singer of a number one country song.
The fifth and final single - “Should’ve Said No” - was released in May 2008, and just four months later, Swift released the first single - “Love Story” - from her second album Fearless. Keeping with producer Chapman and the same co-writers from her debut album, the building success and popularity from the first album meant that “Love Story” would go on to sell over 8 million copies, becoming one of the best-selling country singles of all time.
The album topped the US charts, eventually selling over 7 million copies there alone, and became the best selling album on 2009, which meant that Swift had broken yet another record, by being the youngest artist in history to have the year’s best-selling album. Fearless would go on to spawn another four hit singles, and at the Grammy’s that year, it won Country Album Of The Year, as well as the top award, Album Of The Year. At the age of 20, Swift had become the youngest person to ever win the award, beating previous record holder Alanis Morissette, who had won for Jagged Little Pill at the age of 21.
Again, Swift spread out the singles releases from Fearless, resulting in the fifth single - “Fearless” - hitting the charts in January 2010, and then in August that same year came the first single - “Mine” - from album number three, Speak Now. The album sold over 1 million copies in it’s first week of release, becoming only the 16th album to ever manage the feat. All fourteen songs from the album charted in the Billboard charts, with eleven of them chart simultaneously, making her the first female artist in history to have over ten songs on the Hot 100 chart at once.
Seven official singles and a Grammy nomination later, and it appeared that Swift wanted to swap things up. The gap between singles - “Ours” in November 2011 and “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” in August 2012 - was the longest time between singles since her career had started, and album number four, Red, represented a change in her career direction.
While Chapman and Rose were still present, Swift had now enlisted a series of new collaborators for the project, including Jeff Bhasker (Kanye West, Alicia Keys), Jacknife Lee (U2, Snow Patrol), Butch Walker (Fall Out Boy, Pink) and, most importantly, Max Martin. The pop uber-producer was behind Red’s first single, as well as it’s follow-ups “I Knew You Were Trouble” and “22”. There were another four singles from the album, but none as popular as those Swift worked with on with Martin, and this would dictate the next step in her career path.
Red sold over one million copies in it’s first week (a trend now beginning in Swift’s career), and received another set of nominations for Best Album and Best Country Album at the Grammys, but she was already looking forward to the next project. “Shake It Off” arrived in August 2014, the first single from 1989, and the most recent step in Swift’s designs towards world-conquering.
Continuing to expand her collaborators list, 1989’s writers and producers now included Jack Antonoff (Carly Rae Jepsen, Tegan and Sara), Ryan Tedder (Beyonce, OneRepublic), Greg Kurstin (Adele, Kelly Clarkson), but front and centre was Max Martin, who was involved with eight of the album’s thirteen tracks. Another six singles followed “Shake It Off”, and the album once again sold over 1 million copies in it’s first week, making Swift the first artist in history to sell over a million copies of three consecutive albums within their first weeks of release, and is one of only five albums in all of history to remain within the Top 200 Albums Chart within the first year of it’s release. The album would go on to win Best Album of the Year at the Grammys, making Swift the only female artist to win the award twice.
As is the case with her work to date, “New Romantics” was the seventh and final single released from the album, and that was back in February of this year. If her work ethic remains steady, we should be getting a new Taylor Swift album a few months before the year is out. Considering that previous albums have reportedly had songs tied to break-ups with her famous ex’s including Jon Mayer, Jake Gyllenhaal and Harry Styles amongst others, and the recent stories involving both Calvin Harris and Tom Hiddleston, not to mention that “Bad Blood” was reportedly in response to her soured friendship with Katy Perry, album number six might arrive even sooner, considering the amount of material she now has to write about.