Variety Names Harry Styles Hitmaker of the Year

Terence Patrick/CBS

Harry Styles is gracing yet another magazine cover, this time for Variety’s Hitmaker of the Year title.

For the magazine’s special edition, Styles spoke about his music, criticism from his Vogue cover, and his time with One Direction.

Recently, Styles was criticized by conservative author Candance Owens for the popular Vogue cover that showcased him donning a Gucci dress. Owens condemned the Grammy nominee for the cover, tweeting that society “can’t survive without manly men.”

In his interview with Variety, Styles addressed Owens’ tweets.

“To not wear [something] because it’s females’ clothing, you shut out a whole world of great clothes,” Styles said. “And I think what’s exciting about right now is you can wear what you like. It doesn’t have to be X or Y. Those lines are becoming more and more blurred.”

On Wednesday morning, Styles shared a photo from his Variety shoot to Instagram, humorously clapping back at Owens with the caption, “Bring back manly men.”

Recently, the singer was nominated for three Grammy awards for his work on his recent album Fineline. For music muse, Styles revealed that instead of seeking industry approval, he bases his music on what he and his fans would like to hear.

“People within [the industry] feel like they operate on a higher level of listening, and I like to make music from the point of being a fan of music,” Styles said. “Fans are the best A&R.”

In the exclusive interview, Styles also reflected on his time with One Direction, revealing that he “learned so much” from the band.

“I learned so much,” Styles said. “When we were in the band, I used to try and write with as many different people as I could. I wanted to practice — and I wrote a lot of bad [stuff].”

Styles highlighted the transition from boy band to a solo career in which he noticed that many former bands felt the need to apologize for where they started. The “Watermelon Sugar” singer says he loved being in the band.

“When you look at the history of people coming out of bands and starting solo careers, they feel this need to apologize for being in the band. ‘Don’t worry, everyone, that wasn’t me! Now I get to do what I really want to do.’ But we loved being in the band,” Styles said. “I think there’s a want to pit people against each other. And I think it’s never been about that for us. It’s about the next step in evolution. The fact that we’ve all achieved different things outside of the band says a lot about how hard we worked in it.”

Styles’ Variety issue is available on newsstands everywhere now. To read the full interview and see content from the cover shoot, click here.