“Watermelon Sugar” by Harry Styles bolted up from number-seven to number-one on the Billboard Hot 100 for the chart dated August 15. This marks his first time topping the singles chart in his career after a couple of previous top-10 hits. And it makes him the second former member of One Direction to reach the summit after Zayn, who went in his own direction as a solo artist before the rest of the band officially went on hiatus.
Styles’s previous highest charting single was “Sign of the Times,” the lead single from his eponymous first solo album in 2017. That song debuted at number-four on the Hot 100, but that was as high as it ever got. He then returned to the top 10 in 2020 when the ballad “Adore You” gradually rose as high as the number-six spot. As that song was hovering in the top 20, “Watermelon Sugar” was having its own ascent, reaching the top 10 but not surpassing “Adore You’s” mark until this week, when it got a boost from a sale at Styles’s web store and digital retailers.
The only other One Direction member to top the charts was Zayn, who left the band in 2015 and debuted at number-one in 2016 with his first ever solo single, “Pillowtalk.” Zayn then peaked at number-two with another single he released that year, “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” with Taylor Swift. So at that point he had the two highest-charting singles for One Direction alums. Until now.
But does “Watermelon Sugar” give Styles his best chance at the Grammys? As of this writing we rank “Adore You” higher than “Watermelon Sugar” in our odds for both Record of the Year and Song of the Year. Until now it was the higher charting single, and the sentimental love song fits Grammy voters’ usual preferences better than the bawdier “Watermelon Sugar” does. But there’s no doubt that big hits often eclipse their competition in the Grammys’ top categories where nominations are concerned, so maybe “Sugar” will be sweeter. Vote below to let us know which song you think gives him the better chance at awards success.
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