There’s a fine line between star and superstar. Harry Styles is getting the big money push now to turn into the latter.
Even though his first album did so-so, Harry’s last tour was a success. The former One Directioner proved he had the stamina to take it on and be in good spirits: no scandals with sex or drugs. No Justin Bieber-esque breakdowns.
And so today Styles has announced a world tour beginning next April. It’s called the Love Tour, designed to follow release of his new album, “Fine Line,” which comes out Friday, December 13th.
This weekend, Styles will host and be the musical guest on “Saturday Night Live.” That is BIG. It’s the second big marketing move, after his Labor Day Rolling Stone cover, announcing the intention to fill the space left by Justin Bieber when he semi-retired, and to take up the age range left by Justin Timberlake.
Sony is betting a lot on Harry Styles even though the first single from his new album, “Lights Up,” was not a huge seller. Its numbers break down to just 30,000 in paid downloads but boom up to a total of 345,000 including streaming. Spotify shows “Lights Up” with 94 million streams, making it his fifth most popular song on that platform. But the label must be enthusiastic about what we haven’t heard from “Fine Line,” to think that its songs are strong enough to support a huge world tour.
And so into the pop world, Styles will threaten to become his generation’s star, a sort of Leonardo DiCaprio of pop since the singer has also proven he can act seriously (see “Dunkirk”) and be naturally funny (“SNL”).
Even better news is that on the North American leg of the “Love” tour his opening act is the best “older” singer songwriter around, Jenny Lewis. She’s 43, and has never really gotten her due. A favorite of Elvis Costello, a close pal of Bill Murray, Lewis once fronted a great group called Rilo Kiley. Her songs are an absolute pleasure, and this will bring her to a wide audience.