Harry Styles Performs 2 New Songs in His Much-Anticipated Return to the Howard Stern Show

Pop superstar talks to Howard ahead of his third solo album, “Harry’s House”

May 20, 2022

Award-winning megastar Harry Styles made his much-anticipated Stern Show return on Wednesday. The 28-year-old singer, songwriter, and actor sat down with Howard ahead of the release of Friday’s new album, “Harry’s House”.

Howard was quick to compliment Harry on his ability to remain levelheaded after so much time in the limelight, but the artist credited a friend who once told him not to focus on the opinions of others. “’[If] they tell you you’re horrific, it’s not true. And If they tell you you’re the best thing ever, it’s not true,’” he told Howard. “That was a big thing for me.”

Years later, Styles remains disinterested in proving himself to people he doesn’t even know. “[As the band says] before the show, ‘Everything to achieve and nothing to prove,’” Harry explained. “And that’s kind of where I’m trying to come from.”

Harry could just about fill Buckingham Palace’s throne room with all the awards, accolades, and platinum-album certifications he’s earned throughout his career as an entertainer, but on Wednesday he told Howard his biggest source of pride was derived from his fans. As Howard pointed out, Harry is beloved by many members of the LGBTQ+ community and his concerts are often considered a safe and accepting place for anyone to be their authentic selves, whatever that might entail.

“Feeling like there is a space where people feel safe enough to … have those big moments and share them with a room full of people—and share them with us, in a way—is probably one of the things I’m most proud of,” Harry said.

Even so, Harry wasn’t interested in taking any of the credit. “The atmosphere that I feel is created [at our shows] is kind of this free, incredibly emotionally generous atmosphere,” he said, adding, “I think it’s the fans that create that atmosphere more so than me.”

“But you’re the lightning rod, Harry,” Howard suggested. “You’re the catalyst for that.”

“I wouldn’t say I was the catalyst. I’d say I was more of a mirror,” Harry corrected. “I only have that space on stage to feel kind of free enough to be whomever I am because I think it’s an environment that both the fans and the people in my life—my friends— have created for me.”

Unfortunately, some places in the United States may not soon be as free as the average Harry Styles concert as conservative politicians and judges threaten to roll back hard-earned progress on issues ranging from transgender rights to abortions.

“There are a lot of people who are taking the right steps to try and make positive things happen,” Harry said. “People who don’t like that are kind of clawing to grapple back any ground that they feel like they lost which never belonged to them in the first place.”

“I just don’t think anyone should be able to make any decisions about anyone else’s body. It just doesn’t make any sense to me … I don’t really know where that ends, you know?” he continued, adding, “It’s quite scary to see how far backwards we’re going in a lot of ways.”

Harry and company kicked off their first of two performances with “Daylight” off the new album—marking their inaugural public performance of the “Harry’s House” track. “I think it very much captures a moment of what was happening in the studio,” the singer noted, explaining the writing was very much stream of consciousness. “We did an all-nighter, finished it, went out to the beach to watch the sun come up, and it was a nice moment of this album.”

Holding a hollow-bodied Gibson, Styles went on to reveal “Daylight” is based on a difficult relationship. “It’s kind of like an infatuation of like chasing trouble things,” he admitted before telling Howard that, despite it sharing a song title with that of former flame Taylor Swift, is not about her. “You’re reading too much into it. You know I’d love to tell you you’re spot on, but I can’t.”

Harry switched over to a custom-painted Martin guitar for a performance of “Boyfriends,” the closing song off his new album.

“Sometimes people don’t always treat people correctly. I think we’re all just trying to work it out and sometimes we’re not as [emotionally] gentle with people as maybe we could be,” he said of the tune which had inspired him to salute boyfriends everywhere with a big “fuck you” at Coachella recently. Harry’s in-studio rendition was brimming with vocal harmonies and enchanting finger-picked guitar melodies.

“That’s beautiful,” co-host Robin Quivers concluded as Harry and the band played their last notes.

Harry’s House” arrives Friday, May 20.