“As It Was” was an immediate success; it earned the Guinness World Records title for the most streamed track on Spotify within 24 hours by a male artist, and broke the Apple Music streaming record for most first-day streams for a 2022 release. The song also opened atop the Billboard Global 200 with the greatest global streaming week of 2022, becoming Styles’s first number-one on the tally.

In the UK, “As It Was” became Styles’s second solo number-one on the singles chart, debuting with the biggest sales and streaming weeks of any single in 2022. It spent ten weeks at number one on the UK singles chart, becoming the longest-running number one of the year in the UK. It became the most-streamed track (149.6 million streams), most physically purchased (12,000 units), most digitally downloaded (47,000 units) and overall, best-selling (1.3 million equivalent units) track in the UK in 2022, as of October 2022. Harry Styles announced the title of his third studio album Harry’s House on 23 March 2022, unveiling its artwork, a 40-second trailer, and the album’s release date as 20 May 2022.

“As It Was” entered at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Styles’ second number-one single after “Watermelon Sugar” (2019). The song garnered the most single-day streams on Spotify in the United States, surpassing Olivia Rodrigo‘s “Drivers License” (2021). After the single’s debut at No. 1, “As It Was” fell out of the No. 1 position and returned multiple times between April and September 2022; when it returned to No. 1 for the week ending 3 September 2022, it became the first song ever to have five separate runs in the top position. “As It Was” spent 15 weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the longest-running US number-one by a UK act, the second longest-running No. 1 with no accompanying artists (i.e. a solo-billed song), and the fifth longest-running number-one in the chart’s history.

“As It Was” spent 18 weeks at number one on the Canadian Hot 100 and peaked at number one in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Lithuania, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Slovakia, Sweden, and Switzerland. “As It Was” ranked as the most popular song on Spotify and the second most popular song on Apple Music in 2022.

Music video

The music video for “As It Was” was released alongside the song. In the clip, Styles joins dancer Mathilde Lin on a turning platform and performs choreography by Yoann Bourgeois in the Barbican to release negative emotions. The video was filmed in London: apart from the Barbican Centre, it was also filmed at Lindley Hall near the Houses of Parliament, and the penguin pool at London Zoo. It was directed by Tanu Muino, who stated that directing for Styles was “a bucket list dream come true”.

On YouTube, the video has received over 585 million views and 7.5 million likes as of August 2023.


Photo by Chris Zhang on Unsplash