A whole lot of history: 10 years of One Direction and what the boys did next


One Direction are celebrating their tenth anniversary. Thursday marks a decade since Simon Cowell put Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, and Louis Tomlinson together on the X Factor.

Their time together brought five albums, four world tours and plenty of memories, midnight and otherwise. They went on indefinite hiatus in 2016. The band have marked the occasion by releasing a trove of archival content, including music videos and behind-the-scenes footage.

Fans hoping for a reunion tour will have to wait for now. To mark One Direction’s 10th anniversary, the PA news agency has looked at what the boys did next:

Harry Styles

Harry Styles has been hugely successful since One Direction took a break

From the moment he stepped on the X Factor stage as a fresh-faced 16-year-old, it was clear to many Styles had star quality.

His cover of Stevie Wonder’s Isn’t She Lovely was a huge hit with the studio audience and Cowell and Nicole Scherzinger sent him through, despite Louis Walsh’s fears the young singer did not have enough experience. His post-One Direction career has been predictably successful. Styles’ self-titled debut album arrived in 2017 to critical acclaim and topped the charts on both sides of the Atlantic.

His second effort, Fine Line, was released in December and was another success thanks to singles including Lights Up, Adore You and Watermelon Sugar. Away from music, Styles made his acting debut in Christopher Nolan’s 2017 war masterpiece Dunkirk.

Niall Horan

Niall Horan’s solo albums include Flicker and Heartbreak Weather

Irish singer Horan was widely seen as the “nice” member of One Direction.

The 26-year-old’s debut album, 2017’s Flicker, was a worldwide success, reaching number one in his home country and the US, while peaking at third position in the UK. Flicker singles including This Town and Slow Hands. Horan followed Flicker with Heartbreak Weather, which was released in March.

Boosted by catchy singles such as Nice To Meet Ya and Put A Little Love On Me, the album replicated the success of Flicker, scoring number ones in both the UK and Ireland as well as a top five place in the US.

Zayn Malik

Zayn Malik has enjoyed some success as a solo performer and is expecting a child with Gigi Hadid

In 2015, Zayn became the first member to depart One Direction, saying he wanted “some private time out of the spotlight”. His solo career got off to a strong start and his 2016 single Pillowtalk, from the album Mind Of Mine, was a worldwide smash. It led to Malik becoming the first British male artist to debut at number one in both the UK and US.

He also found success with subsequent singles I Don’t Wanna Live Forever with Taylor Swift and Dusk Till Dawn, which featured Sia. However, Malik’s second studio album, 2018’s Icarus Falls, failed to reach the highs of Mind Of Mine. It peaked at 77 in the UK album charts and 61 in the US.
Malik is expecting his first child with his partner, the model Gigi Hadid.

Louis Tomlinson

Louis Tomlinson’s life after One Direction has been marred by personal tragedy

Like his bandmates, Tomlinson launched a solo career after One Direction went on hiatus. His debut solo single Just Hold On reached number two in the UK, though his follow-ups have achieved varying degrees of success.

Tomlinson’s debut album, Walls, arrived in January and made the top 10 in both the UK and US. He also served as a judge on series 15 of the X Factor and one of the contestants he mentored, Dalton Harris, won the show.

Earlier this month Tomlinson announced he had agreed to split with Cowell’s record label. Tomlinson’s personal life post-One Direction has been marred by tragedy. His mother, Johannah Deakin, died in December 2016 following a battle with leukaemia.

And Tomlinson’s sister Felicite died of an accidental drug overdose in 2019 aged 18.
The singer is father to four-year-old son Freddie Reign.

Liam Payne

Liam Payne has pursued a solo career since leaving One Direction

Payne’s debut track as a solo artist was the single Strip That Down featuring Migos rapper Quavo. It was a chart success, reaching number three in the UK and cracking the US top 10. Payne’s maiden album, LP1, launched a week before Styles’ Fine Line but did not achieve the same critical and commercial success.

The record peaked at 17 in the UK but failed to crack the top 100 in the US. Away from music, Payne was involved in a high-profile relationship with pop star Cheryl.
They split in 2018 and have a three-year-old son together, named Bear.

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