Harry Styles opening for the Grammys

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Imogen Rogers

Styles opened the show with a bang on March 14.

Harry Styles opened for the 63rd annual Grammy Awards on Sunday March 14th. 

“We all know he’ll likely play ‘Watermelon Sugar’ or ‘Adore You,’ which are great songs, but have received way more publicity than others that are equally as amazing,” said Sarah Baer (‘22).

“Watermelon Sugar” was originally released as a single, and is a popular pop hit.  However, slower songs such as “Cherry,” “She,” and “Fine Line” have made their ways further and further into the spotlight. 

“Since this album has been out for over a year, I’m honestly not sure what to expect. It seems like nearly every song has had the time to be recognized and become crowd pleasers,” said Nicole Belleville (‘23).

Though he rose to fame as a member of renowned boy band One Direction, Styles’s sweet spot can be found in his individuality. Being a part of a band requires some assimilation to a group, but the decision to seek success with a solo career has given him more space to exercise his unique sound, look and personality. 

“He is very open with his fans and not afraid to go against societal norms, for example, his dress shoot on the cover of Vogue,” said Baer.

Styles’s success not only as an artist, but as a charismatic performer created high expectations for fans hoping for the performance to reflect some of his artistry and personality. The question remains: did the opening performance live up to the hype?

In contrast to the feel-good tune, the setup was primarily dark. The backdrop was black, with Styles in black leather (and one of three feather boas of the evening), and his band and background singers dressed in monochromatic black as well. Still, Styles knows how to appeal to the crowd.

“When he wasn’t singing, he was dancing, and he was smiling for the whole show,” said Belleville.

His ability to take something with as much pressure and tension as an awards show and remind us that music is meant to be fun, to be enjoyed, was really emulated.

“I was definitely thrown off by the set versus the upbeat, feel-good song, but Harry’s performance quality is always great. I’m just being picky,” said Baer

Regardless of the contradicting aesthetics, Styles’s stage presence still stands as one of his many lovable qualities. “Watermelon Sugar” was a great way to open up and get excited for the 2021 Grammy Awards. Only Harry Styles can rock the feather boas and stage how he does.