Tony Visconti responds to claim that “Harry Styles is the new David Bowie”

"From what I saw tonight he's not worthy of shining in his shoes"

Tony Visconti has responded to the suggestion that Harry Styles is the new David Bowie, shutting down the claim that the former One Direction star is worthy of the comparison.

The American producer, known for being a lifelong collaborator with Bowie, took to Facebook in the early hours of this morning (February 6) to share his views on the 65th Annual Grammy Awards which took place in Los Angeles yesterday (February 5).

“What’s the difference between the Grammys and Las Vegas? Nothing!” he wrote as a status.


He then followed up to share his view on Styles, who won Album Of The Year and Best Pop Vocal Album for third solo album ‘Harry’s House’ and also performed his hit single ‘As It Was’ live.

Harry Styles
Harry Styles performs onstage during the 65th GRAMMY Awards at Arena on February 05, 2023 in Los Angeles, California (CREDIT: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for The Recording Academy )

“Someone just told me that Harry Styles is the new Bowie?” Visconti added in his own comments. “From what I saw tonight he’s not worthy of shining in his shoes.”

Visconti’s partnership with Bowie spanned nearly 50 years, first collaborating on 1969’s ‘Space Oddity’ and working intermittently on 10 albums in total until final album ‘Blackstar’, released two days before the legendary musician’s death in January 2016.

Followers agreed with Visconti in the comments, with one writing: “There will NEVER be anyone that’s the new David Bowie he is in a class of his own always will be unique.”

Another added: “Thank you , thank you, thank you Tony for saying what so many of us are thinking.”


One person also shared that they’d heard the same comparison upon the release of Styles’ debut self-titled solo album in 2017 and “immediately said ‘nope’. Bowie was one of a kind and irreplaceable”.

David Bowie
David Bowie posing for a photo in 1971 to promote ‘Hunky Dory’. Credit: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

They continued: “That said, as the parent of a teen, I appreciate Harry. He inspired my daughter to learn to play music.”

Earlier this year, Visconti recalled a previously untold story about a “goosebumps” moment he experienced while recording Bowie‘s song ‘Weeping Wall’.

Last year, he also embarked on a UK tour called ‘Tony Visconti: The Best of Bowie’ where his band performed hits from Bowie’s back catalogue.

Meanwhile, the big four awards at the Grammys went to Styles (Album Of The Year), Lizzo (Record Of The Year), Bonnie Raitt (Song Of The Year) and Samara Joy (Best New Artist).

You can find the full list of winners here, and also check out the best moments from the 2023 awards here.

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