On 23rd July, 2010, a boy band was formed that consisted of 5 members: Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson and Harry Style. But sadly, the band broke up, and each member started their solo career. Today, we are going to see what each one of them are doing, and a little history behind the success of the band. Let us get into it.
Initially, the five boys auditioned separately for the seventh season of the British reality show The X Factor. However, they failed to get into the competition as a solo performer, so the judge, Simon Cowell, placed all five of them in a group, and hence “One Direction” was formed. Soon, the boys started to bond over each other, and their teamwork led the success of their story.
Even though they did not win the competition, they did win a lot of hearts and they became very popular across the United Kingdom. For the audition, all the boys sang different songs. Harry Styles sang “Isn’t She Lovely”, Zayn Malik sang “Let Me Love You”, Liam Payne sang “Cry Me a River”, Niall Horan sang “So Sick”, and Louis Tomlinson sang “Hey There Delilah”.
In 2011, the band released their first song, “What Makes You Beautiful”, and it became a critical and commercial hit, not only in the UK, but internationally. The same month, they released their first studio album “Up All Night”, and it became UK’s fastest selling debut album. They also went on a tour after this.
In 2012, the band released their second studio album, “Take Me Home”, and it reached number 1 in over 35 different countries, including USA. “What Makes You Beautiful” also topped the Billboard Chart, and like this One Direction became the first group to have their first two albums reach number one.
After the huge success of previous two albums, the band released their third studio album, “Midnight Memories”. The lead single of the album, “Best Song Ever” broke the YouTube record for most viewed video within first 24 hours with over 10.9 Million views. When it was released internationally, it also went on to top the chart like the previous album, making One Direction the first group to ever do so, since The Monkees in 1967. The song “Story of My Life” became a huge success.
The same year, in 2013, a 3D documentary and concert film about the group was released. It was called “One Direction: This Is Us”.
“Four” was their fourth album, and the most popular songs from this album were “Steal My Girl” and “Night Changes”. It was also the last album of the band before Zayn Malik’s departure.
In 2015, Zayn Malik announced that he is leaving the group, but the band will keep on going with the four remaining members. Their fifth and the last album was “Made in the A.M.”, and the songs like “Drag Me Down’, “Perfect”, “Infinity” became highly popular. Even without Malik, the boys kept on performing on concerts.
Even after all these success as a group, the band announced their hiatus, and the hiatus became a permanent split. Finally, in 2016, the band broke up and each started their solo musical career.
So let us see what each of the one direction are doing right now:
Malik was considered to be the best vocalist in the band. Just after the departure, he started working in his first studio album, titled as “Mine of Mine”. The lead single of the album “Pillowtalk” featuring his girlfriend supermodel Gigi Hadid, also reached number one in the Billboard chart, and also the album. Kehlani was also featured in the album.
Zayn’s second album was “Icarus Falls” that he released back in 2018. It received positive reviews from the critics, but however, could not meet the success of his previous album. “Dusk Till Dawn” featuring Sia, was later added to the album, and the song reached number one on the chart, and has over one billion views on YouTube. Other popular songs from this album were “Let Me” and “Entertainer”. Rapper Nicki Minaj was also featured in the album, in the song “No Candle No Light”.
Finally in 2021, Zayn released his third album “Nobody is Listening”, but it couldn’t match the success of the previous albums, but received favorable reviews. Songs like “Better” and “Tightrope” became popular though. He also sang the classic Disney song “A Whole New World” along with Zhavia, for the live action remake of Aladdin.
As of now, Zayn is dating supermodel Gigi Hadid, and they together have a daughter named, Khai. He has also published his autobiography called “Zayn”, where he tells how his life was during One Direction days and after that.
After the separation from the band, Liam released his first song “Strip That Down” as a solo artist. Rapper Quavo was featured in it. The song reached number one in UK and number 10 in USA.
Liam has only released one studio album, “LP1”, and one extended plays, “First Time”, both receiving not so favorable reviews. Yet still, the songs like “Strip That Down”, “Get Low”, “Bedroom Floor”, “Stack It Up”, “Familiar”, “Live Forever” went on to become popular among the audience.
Payne is also known for his vocal range, and after Zayn left the band, all the responsibility of high vocals came to Liam. Liam also sang “For You” with Rita Ora, for the movie Fifty Shades Freed. He later collaborated with Jonas Blue and Lennon Stella for the song “Polaroid”.
Liam Payne first dated Cheryl Cole, who was also the judge in The X Factor. Together, they have a son, Bear. Although they are separated now, they share the custody of Bear. It was also rumored that Payne dated supermodel Naomi Campbell. Both Cheryl and Naomi are older than Liam.
In 2019, he started dating model Maya Henry, who was also his fan. They also got engaged but then called it off in 2021, for which we have a separate article for. If you want to read about Liam and Maya, do check it out. Also, he is the only one who still mentions and recalls his One Direction memories openly.
Probably the eye candy of the band, Harry Styles, is the only one to have a Grammy Award, and right now has the most successful solo career. He released his lead single “Sign of the Times”, which went on to become number one in the UK.
Styles made his acting debut with Christopher Nolan’s movie, Dunkirk, back in 2017. The same year, he released his first solo album “Harry Styles”. Songs like “Sign of the Times”, “Two Ghosts”, “Sweet Creature”, “Kiwi”, became quite popular.
Harry’s second album “Fine Line”, which he released in 2019, was so successful that it was ranked 491 on the list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Songs like “Lights Up”, “Adore You”, “Falling”, “Watermelon Sugar”, “Golden”, “Treat People With Kindness” became very popular, and with this also started the debate if Harry Styles is gay or bisexual.
“Watermelon Sugar” reached number one in Billboard Chart, and also won the Grammy for Best Pop Solo Performance.
Harry’s sexuality has been a topic of discussion, as previously he dated Taylor Swift, and has also been seen wearing feminine clothes. He was slammed by Candace Owens for being too feminine in the Vogue cover saying, “Bring Back Manly Men”, to which Styles replied with another picture of him wearing a dress. However, Harry doesn’t label his sexuality and we really applaud him for that.
Tomlinson, or better known by the fans as Tommo, released his first solo song “Just Hold On” in 2016. In 2017, he released “Back To You” featuring singer Bebe Rexha, and also “Miss You”. All these songs received positive reviews and Louis’s song writing has been praised.
In 2016, Louis lost his mother, Johannah Deakin, due to leukemia, and all the band members expressed their condolence. In 2019, he released his song “Two Of Us”, which was dedicated to her. However, another tragedy occurred when his sister, Felicite Tomlinson, died due to an overdose, the same week he released the song.
Tomlinson’s popular songs include “Kill My Mind”, “Don’t Let It Break Your Heart”, “We Made It”, “Walls” etc. In 2020, he released his first studio album “Walls”, and it received positive reviews, but could not make it to the chart.
Before singing, Tomlinson was also a footballer for the club Doncaster Rovers. He dated Eleanor Calder, and they together have a son, Freddie Reign. Later he also dated Danielle Campbell but broke up. He is considered as the strongest member of the band.
Niall released his first album “Flicker” back in 2017, which went on to reach number one in Ireland and USA. The songs “This Town” and “Slow Hands” became very popular.
In 2020, Niall released his second album “Heartbreak Weather”, which received favorable reviews. Some of his most popular songs are “Put a Little Love on Me”, “Nice to Meet Ya”, “Small Talk”, “Black and White”, “Our Song”, etc.
“This Town” became very popular on TikTok during the COVID-19 quarantine.
Besides singing, Horan is also a huge sports enthusiast. He dated actress and singer Hailee Steinfeld back in 2017, but broke up in 2018. Steinfeld also released a song called “Wrong Direction”, which is assumed to be targeting Horan.
It has been 11 years now, since we first knew One Direction. Last year, in 2020, the official social media pages of the band posted a 10 year anniversary special. They also released all the songs and popular music videos in high quality. They got back together for the music video of the song “Story of My Life”, where it is seen how much their life has changed in past few years. Liam, Louis, Niall and Harry shared their memories from the band, except Zayn who doesn’t usually speak about the band much and is mostly inactive in the social medias.