This Throwback Video of Harry Styles' 'X Factor' Audition Proves Moms Know Best

The year is 2010. President Barack Obama was in office, Snowmaggeddon had covered New York, Mark Zuckerberg was named Time's Person of the Year. And all the way over on a soundstage in Los Angeles, One Direction was being born.

It's hard to imagine a world without Harry Styles in it, let alone without the rest of the group, but that's exactly where humanity was before Styles walked out onstage and told X Factor judge Simon Cowell that he wanted to sing.

In this throwback clip of Styles' X Factor audition, the singer is grilled by Cowell, who seems skeptical of his talent. Cowell asks, "Why have you always wanted to audition, Harry?"

A well-intentioned Styles replies, "'Cause my mum's always told me that I'm a good singer, and so have my friends..." before Cowell jumps back in and says, "OK, mums normally don't know" to the audience's delight.

Undeterred, Styles quickly agrees. He replies, "Yeah, that's what I mean! So I wanted to come and ask from the people who know" and gestures toward the judge's table.

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Cowell then inquires, "What do you think?" Styles pauses, then replies, "I don't know... I think I could do it, but I think with your help I could be a lot better than I am."

Cowell later told Extra that the audition has stayed with him. As he put it, "I remember his audition like it was yesterday. He was very charming, he was very confident, he was very funny, and I liked him."

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Of course, we all know the rest of the story: Styles and fellow solo contestants Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne and Niall Horan were all eliminated from The X Factor but then decided to form a group to stay in. They ultimately took third place under the banner One Direction, and went on to enjoy enormous success until the group disbanded in 2015.

Since then, Styles has built an incredibly lucrative and successful solo career. As you can see in the video below, it all started with the right answer at his audition.

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