Harry Styles might be one of the defining artists of his generation, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s qualified to outshine, say, David Bowie. Tony Visconti, the producer who worked closely with Bowie, had a harsh response to someone who suggested the former One Direction member is on Bowie’s caliber: “He’s not worthy of shining his shoes.”
The rant stemmed from a since-hidden Facebook post Visconti made during last night’s Grammys: “What’s the difference between the Grammys and Las Vegas? Nothing!” he wrote. He then took to the comments to air his further grievances: “Someone just told me that Harry Styles is the new Bowie? From what I saw tonight he’s not worthy of shining his shoes.” Oof.
Visconti’s put-down might’ve been a scorcher, but we’d bet Styles is feeling pretty OK regardless. He just took home the coveted Album of the Year Grammy for his most recent LP Harry’s House, beating out ABBA, Adele, Bad Bunny, Beyoncé, Mary J. Blige, Brandi Carlile, Coldplay, Kendrick Lamar, and Lizzo.
“Man, I’ve been so, so inspired by every artist in this category with me,” a stunned Styles said in his acceptance speech. “At a lot of different times in my life, I listen to everyone in this category when I’m alone. I think like on nights like tonight, it’s obviously so important for us to remember that there is no such thing as ‘best’ in music. I don’t think any of us sit in studio thinking — making decisions based on what is going to get us one of these. This is really, really kind. I’m so, so grateful… This doesn’t happen to people like me very often, and this is so, so nice. Thank you very, very much.”
Earlier in the evening, Styles also performed the Harry’s House lead single “As It Was,” which got nominated for Best Solo Pop Performance, Record of the Year, and Song of the Year. He lost in those categories, but hey — he only needs three more Grammys to catch up to Bowie’s total. See Visconti’s post via screenshot below.
Check out the full list of last night’s Grammy winners here. If you want to judge for yourself whether or not Styles is the new Bowie, head over to StubHub for tickets to his remaining “Love on Tour” dates, and revisit our recap of his opening night at Madison Square Garden back in August.
Quand Tony Visconti debriefe les #GRAMMYs et donne son avis sur « Harry Styles est-il le nouveau Bowie ? ».
« Someone just told me that Harry Styles is the new Bowie? From what I saw tonight he’s not worthy of shining his shoes. » #headshot pic.twitter.com/2B7NNX7P1g
— Steven Bellery (@StevenBellery) February 6, 2023
Editor’s Note: Get high-quality photo prints of David Bowie and other legendary musicians at Consequence Shop.