Harry Styles performs on stage during Radio 1’s Big Weekend 2022 at War Memorial Park on May 29, 2022 in Coventry, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
MUSIC BUSINESS

Harry Styles Sets New Streaming Standard with ‘As It Was’

The lead single from Harry’s House has been dominant since April 1. And on Spotify, it just set a new all-time music streaming record.

Harry Styles can do whatever he wants. It just so happens that what he was born to do is craft boundless pop music.

Five years into his solo career, Styles has reached a new apex. He was already one of the world’s most commercially successful artists, but he has never felt commercialized. “As It Was,” the lead single from Harry’s House, embodies Styles’ dedication to evolution and acute recognition that change isn’t always a choice.

What hasn’t changed since the 28-year-old Grammy winner’s formative One Direction days, however, is his perpetual embodiment of gravitational pull. And according to music industry stats hub Chart Data, the uptempo track has become the quickest song ever to reach 600 million streams on Spotify.

“As It Was” is one-upping itself. Spotify had previously confirmed it to be the most-streamed single on the platform within one day upon its April 1 release (Billboard reports 8.3 million), as well as the most-streamed song on Spotify in a single day for 2022 so far globally (Billboard says 21.6 million) and the most-streamed single in the US in a single day all-time.

Harry’s House, Styles’ third solo studio album, arrived May 20. The project debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 this week with a year-best 521,500 equivalent first-week units. That makes it the biggest album debut since Adele‘s 30 last November.

Simultaneously, all 13 Harry’s House tracks are charting on the Hot 100:

Four are within the top 10, with “As It Was” enjoying the top slot for a fourth non-consecutive week:

Fortunately, amid such rare success, Styles has maintained a reputation for spinning his personal glory for some greater good.

On May 24, a mass shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas, claimed 21 lives — including 19 children. Styles announced his forthcoming North American tour will benefit Everytown for Gun Safety. The partnership will include “donating to support their efforts” to end gun violence and “sharing their suggested action items”:

Styles’ 42-date Love On Tour supported 2019’s Fine Line. According to Live Nation, Styles sold 720,000 tickets for an approximate $95 million gross with over $1 million raised for non-profit partners.

At this rate, the Harry’s House run is primed to produce an even more profound impact.

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