After One Direction announced its split in the beginning of 2016, it seemed like only a matter of time before the four remaining members would announce that they were going solo. Following in the footsteps of Zayn Malik, who left the band in 2015 and has since released a successful album on his own, E! News reported Friday that Harry Styles has officially signed a solo deal with Columbia Records — the same label he was signed with while part of the band. It seems safe to assume that Styles' solo music venture will be pretty successful (he is Harry Styles, after all), but what's not as obvious is how it will compare to his 1D success. How much was Harry Styles making in One Direction? Probably more than you think.
There's no doubt that, as part of the boyband, Styles had mega earning potential. But together, the members of One Direction out-earned pretty much everyone, and, according to Forbes, the band took the title of the world's highest-paid celebrities under 30, beating out Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga for the top spot. The magazine noted that, in 2015, One Direction made a whopping $130 million — and, oh yeah, did I mention that Styles is only 22 years old? (Please excuse me while I go look at my credit card bill and cry.)
But 2015 wasn't even an anomaly for the successful band — it has been raking in big bucks for years now. According to The Mirror, One Direction earned about £202,000 per day in 2014 (that's approximately $280,000), and walked away with profits of £4,793,889 in 2013 (a paltry sum in comparison, but still nothing to complain about). One main revenue stream for the band in '15? Touring. According to The Mirror, 1D played 74 tour dates, and "[grossed] seven figures at each one."
It's still to be seen whether Styles will be able to generate the same kind of tour revenue on his own, but he's already getting a head start on songwriting and publishing — another potential source of big income. According to E! News, Styles registered four songs with the American Society of Composer, Authors and Publishers last year under his own name, and earlier this year, he also signed with a new management company, Full Stop Management.
While 1D fans everywhere are mourning Styles' latest step towards solo success and away from the band, a certain rapper/mogul/Mr. Beyoncé Knowles might also be bummed to hear that Styles has gone ahead and signed a new contract. In an interview with the Daily Star Sunday in January, Jay Z expressed interest in working with Styles to launch his solo career. He told the paper,
Harry doesn’t need any help with exposure, everybody in the world knows who he is. But he does need to make the transition from being part of a group to becoming an individual artist. I can get him working with the bigger artists, the biggest producers — and have him as the biggest artist in the world within a year. I would love to sign Harry. Simon is going to want to carry on working with him, of course. But we could do a joint venture – we both have big qualities we can bring to the table.
But Styles' new record deal isn't the only step he's taken towards branching out from his boyband days — according to The Daily Mail, Styles is currently making his acting debut in Christopher Nolan's WWII drama, Dunkirk. And from the sounds of it, Styles' transition from music to film has been pretty seamless. According to The Daily Mail, studio executive Harvey Weinstein discussed Styles' huge potential as an actor:
I’ve met him two or three times and he was very interested and charming. I think the guy is a movie star. You know he’s a dashing rogue — a fun-loving, spirited kind of actor that used to be in England all the time. Like David Niven or Douglas Fairbanks, he’s got that vibe, he really does.
Uh, yeah, I'm going to guess Harry Styles won't be missing the One Direction life anytime soon.