It's actually happening: According to Billboard, sources are reporting that Harry Styles is going solo. The site reports that the One Direction member — who is still apart of the group, but, like the rest of the band, currently on hiatus — has signed a recording contract with Columbia Records, effectively taking the first step in establishing a music career separate from the band that made him famous. (Bustle has reached out to Styles' rep in response to Billboard's report, but has not yet heard back.) Though not much is known about the reported deal yet (meaning when Styles might release his first solo album, or even a single), this is a huge turn of events. Of course, news that Styles is going solo has fans reacting in droves, many sharing messages of worry for the future of One Direction on Twitter — and some even comparing reports of Styles going solo to Great Britain's historic decision on Friday to leave the EU.
Of course, fans do have adequate reason to worry. The last time a One Direction member struck out on his own — Zayn Malik, to be specific — he did end up starting a solo career and permanently leaving the band. Of course, Styles' reported decision to go solo doesn't necessarily mean that he'll be leaving One Direction, but his future plans also aren't clear. Many of the reactions from fans were ones of shock, and even anger:
Even more, however, seemed to compare reports of Styles going solo to Britain's Brexit decision. Early Friday, news outlets from BBC to The Guardian all projected that Britain had voted to leave the EU, shortly before news of Styles' reported solo deal with Columbia Records was reported by Billboard.
Some fans did share words of support for the 22-year-old star, though:
It remains to be seen what Styles going solo could mean for both the future of the band and his career, but one thing is for certain: Friday, June 24, turned out to be a deeply historic way in more ways than one.