We all know Harry Styles.
Born and raised in Britain, Harry spent much of his childhood in the small village of Holmes Chapel in Cheshire, England.
At the age of 16, the aspiring singer traveled to the Manchester auditions for the British version of The x factor – a decision that changed the entire course of his life.
Led by Nicole Scherzinger, the show’s judges finally chose Harry as one-fifth of a newly formed boy band alongside Doncaster’s Louis Tomlinson, Bradford’s Zayn Malik, Wolverhampton’s Liam Payne and Niall Horan, who hails from Ireland.
Together, the five teenagers formed a group you may have heard of: One Direction. And soon they were in central London for the X factors live shows.
Ultimately, the band finished the series in third place, but that didn’t stop them from enjoying astronomical success around the world.
After the show, One Direction started the X factors toured across the country and when they released their debut single in September 2011 it went straight to the top of the UK charts.
Due to the group’s commercial success in their home country, as well as their growing popularity on social media, One Direction was quickly snapped up by a record label in America and they came to the US to support Big Time Rush in 2012.
The rest, as they say, is history, as One Direction dominated the international music scene until their hiatus in January 2016.
All five members pursued solo careers after the hiatus was announced, but only one reached the level of mainstream worldwide success that the band enjoyed in their heyday.
Though Louis, Zayn, Niall, and Liam have all achieved significant chart success on their own, Harry is the one who has firmly established himself in the industry and has also embraced acting.
All three of his solo albums have received critical acclaim, and in the years since One Direction’s hiatus, Harry has received two Brit Awards, a Grammy Award, an Ivor Novello Award and an American Music Award for his solo work.
Harry is currently in the second half of a 7-leg, 167-date tour that began in 2021 and won’t end until July 2023.
Called love on tourthe show supports his second and third studio albums and includes performances of some of his most popular songs, including his 2022 hit “As It Was.”
But this track has proved divisive among Harry’s fans thanks to its lyrics: “Leave America, two kids follow her.”
Following its release last year, UK fans used “As It Was” to message Harry during his performances on home soil after getting fed up with the time he’s been spending in the US.
In dozens of videos from his UK shows, fans can be heard demonstratively yelling “Leave America,” turning down noticeably to allow the lyrics on both sides to make their point even clearer.
It didn’t take long for Harry to realize what they were doing and he seemed amused by the trend and was often filmed smiling and laughing during this line. Eventually he stopped singing “leave America” altogether, knowing the UK fans would just yell at him.
But of course, when he resumed the North American leg of his tour, it was a different story altogether, and US fans traditionally remain silent at the words “Leave America.”
And Harry decided to share in the split when he returned to the Los Angeles stage last week after a well-deserved break over Christmas and New Year’s.
During his second night at the Kia Forum, many fans asked if they heard him say “I’m stay” during the “Leave America” line, but it was hotly debated.
But on the third night, Harry left no room for questions as he changed the lyrics to “Never leave America,” much to the disappointment of his British fans.
In fact, many took to social media to admit they felt “betrayed” by the change, with fans from other countries also joining the conversation, vowing to “humiliate” the star at his future shows.
In a TikTok, a fan shared an audio clip of the change and joked, “Two Wembley Hslot tickets are on sale for betrayal of our own kind.”
Someone else posted a video of an anonymous confession, which read, “I didn’t think Harry could ever give me the ick, but last night’s ‘Never Leaving America’ really did for me.”
And that was the overwhelming consensus in the comments section of the posts, with one person writing, “Really so salty on him about it.”
Another agreed: “I’m not British nor a big fan but I feel totally betrayed for some reason,” while another wrote: “I’ll say it this whole UK/America thing is making me like him less 👍🏻”
“I feel completely betrayed,” added another. Another claimed: “He forgets he’s actually British and not American.”
“He just dissed every other country with one word 😩😂”, they summarized again.
And before you knew it, fans were plotting how to get it back, with many referencing the famous One Direction song “Don’t Forget Where You Belong” as they accused Harry of forgetting his roots.
“We just shouldn’t sing like it was and or hold up country flags 💀,” one fan commented. Another added, “Sing don’t forget where you belong in his UK concert 😏 HUMBLE HIM.”
“Don’t forget where you’re going🎶🎶🎶,” was a simple second reference to the song, while another fan warned, “DON’T FORGET WHERE YOU BELONG HARRY.”
But not everyone was convinced that Harry’s lyrical change was meant to cast a shadow on other countries, with some saying they interpreted it as an indication of how long he’d spent in America as part of the tour.
“Feels like he said it as a joke because he’s been there for so long so feels like he’s never going so he jokes about it,” one fan surmised. Another agreed, “when someone from America: it reluctantly read as a call for help 💀”
Similarly, Harry could be alluding to recent reports that he is being poached for a Las Vegas residency at the city’s newest venue, the MSG Sphere.
According to The Sun, Bucher are willing to pay Harry a multimillion-dollar fee for a run in 2024.
And if that’s the case, he may never really leave America.