The moment many a One Direction fan has long been waiting for arrived this morning, as Harry Styles finally dropped his solo debut track Sign Of The Times on Nick Grimshaw’s BBC Radio 1 show.
The track certainly poses the biggest threat to Ed Sheeran’s singles chart dominance, with Shape Of You shaping up for a 13th consecutive week at the top when today’s chart’s are officially revealed.
Clocking in at a whopping 5.41, Sign Of The Times marks a bold, if somewhat unexpected return to music for the 1D star. Kicking off with a John Lennon Imagine-style coda, the song develops into a full on piano ballad, complete with soaring falsetto and husky soft rock choruses. Think early Robbie Williams with a dash of Rod Stewart.
An hour after release, the song had clocked up 36,322 views on YouTube, a number that will soar considerably throughout the day.
All eyes will now be on the Midweeks on Monday to see not only how it’s performing in singles chart, but also to see how it stacks up against his fellow 1D members’ solo offerings.
Last year saw Zayn’s debut single Pillowtalk debut at No.1 on sales of 112,497, according to the Official Charts Company.
Niall Horan, meanwhile, clocked first week sales of 37,358 with his debut solo single This Town.
In December of last year, Louis Tomlinson then launched his debut solo single in the form of Just Hold On, which registered sales of 47,626.
Styles will now be looking to top Zayn’s Pillowtalk to become the most successful 1D solo member to date.
A specific release date has yet to be announced for his debut solo album.