Former One Direction singer Harry Styles recently has thanked an Orthodox Jewish family for walking hours from their home in Hampstead to attend his sold-out Wembley gig.
He performing at Wembley Stadium on Saturday night during his worldwide tour and told the 90,000 crowd how grateful he was to the Winston family, who took him in when he was just starting out in his music career and had attended the gig, despite it being on Shabbat.
Styles moved in with Ben Winston and his wife, Meredith, sleeping on a small mattress in their family’s attic. He had asked Ben – much to Meredith’s initial protestations- if he could stay for two weeks until his new Hampstead house was ready to live in. He ended up living with the Winstons for nearly two years.
Those 20 months were when,
“One Direction went from being on a reality show, X Factor, to being the biggest-selling artists in the world,” said Winston in a 2017 Rolling Stone interview.
“That period of time, he was living with us in the most mundane suburban situation. No one ever found out, really. Even when we went out for a meal, it’s such a sweet family neighbourhood, no one dreamed it was actually him.
“But he made our house a home. And when he moved out, we were gutted.”
The family’s Orthodox Jewish lifestyle, “with a strong family emphasis, helped keep him sane,” Rolling Stone reported.
In fact, so close are Styles and Ben to this day, that his hit single, As It Was, starts with the voice of Ben Winston’s daughter, Ruby, who Harry is godfather to. Ruby says in the beginning, “Come on, Harry, we want to say goodnight to you!”