Harry Styles noticed a Jess, an 18-year old, in the crowd towards the end of his One Night Only concert at London's O2 Academy Brixton on Tuesday. This was his first UK show in four years.
I chatted with her shortly before the gig began, and was just as interested as Styles in what she was holding.
"Jess's Sign," he stated to the crowd of 5,000, "says, and we might paraphrase it, 'My boyfriend was with my best friend'."
The crowd of mostly female fans, who have been following him since One Direction, are loudly booing.
Jess screamed in delight when he said, "That's brutal." "I will tell you, it's better without him.
Styles was astonished by the response and dedicated the next song to her. Boyfriends is a slow, acoustic track about a student who works part-time at a supermarket. Styles made Styles the most admired and celebrated woman in the room for one night only.
This interaction is the reason Styles is so loved.
He is the male friend that every woman needs, the one who will stand by you. His USP is not his zeitgeisty challenge of gender norms or obvious good looks, but his emotional intelligence. Contrary to boyfriends who, according to the lyrics of his song, "think you are so easy, they take your for granted, they don’t realize they’re just misunderstanding you."
Harry's House is his third solo record and the one he describes as "the most me". This may also be the album where his appeal matches his media profile in terms sales.
As It Was, a nostalgic, synth-infused single, became America's most streamed song in one day. It had 8.3 million streams when it was released in April. He may also be able to claim the top three spots on the UK singles charts this week.
He could be called the UK's first solo male pop star of the top-league since Ed Sheeran.