Keeping Up with One Direction
Views 23 | Time to read: 4 minutes | Uploaded: 4 - 11 - 2017 | By: Kathryn Patrick
Ever wonder what happened to all the ever-adorable members of One Direction? Following their formation in 2010, the British-Irish pop boyband took the world by storm with chart-topping albums, hit singles, and sold-out shows. But after so much time in the spotlight, the group announced a temporary hiatus beginning in March of 2016, so that each of the band members might have the chance to pursue their own projects. With varying levels of activity on social media and occasional appearances in the news since this break, One Direction’s members have indeed set off on new paths.
Liam Payne (now 23 years old) has most recently drawn attention from news media outlets following the birth of his first child with girlfriend Cheryl Cole, an English singer, dancer, and television personality. Their new son, whose name has not yet been released to the press, was born on March 22nd, following a pregnancy which was largely kept secret. Payne has also released a solo record deal with Capitol Records, previewing a taste of his R&B-style track on social media.
Also a new father, Louis Tomlinson (25) welcomed baby boy Freddie Reign Tomlinson into the world on January 21, 2016 with ex-fling stylist Briana Jungwirth. Tomlinson has also embarked on a solo music career, collaborating with electronic dance producer Steve Aoki. His debut single “Just Hold On,” an EDM-pop crossover, made its appearance on The X Factor USA just days after the singer’s mother, Johannah Deakin, 43, passed away from leukemia. Tomlinson most recently appeared in the news for a reported involvement in a brawl at the LAX airport on March 3rd, following an altercation with paparazzi.
One Direction’s favorite Irishman, Niall Horan (23) also surprised fans with an announcement of solo music. After signing a deal with Capitol Records, Horan presented his first ever solo single—titled “This Town”—on Vevo in late September of last year. In the form of an acoustic, black and white video shot with one microphone in one take, “This Town” showcases the artist’s desire to move into more of a singer-songwriter approach. Horan made history as the first artist to debut at the Number 1 spot on the Social 50 chart.
The band’s youngest and arguably most popular member, Harry Styles (23) has also ventured onto the solo music scene, surprising fans by teasing the release of a debut solo track. This announcement came in the form of a cryptic trailer which screened during The Voice, featuring only the artist’s face and a date: April 7. Styles later shared the artwork and title of the album—“Sign of the Times”—through more rather mysterious posts on his social media accounts. The album’s release will be followed by a live television debut on Saturday Night Live on April 15. This year will also see the launch of Styles’s acting career with a role playing the character of “Alex” in the Christopher Nolan-directed film Dunkirk. Out in theaters on July 21st, this film takes place during World War II, and required Styles to cut his famously long hair.
The only member of One Direction to have officially left the band in March 2015, Zayn Malik (24) has garnered formidable success as a solo artist in the past two years. Despite claims he left the band to pursue a private life outside of the spotlight, Malik soon after signed with RCA Records. His first single, “Pillowtalk” debuted at Number 1 on the Hot 100 album, and his album Mind of Mine, released soon after, was one of the best-selling debut albums of 2016. Along with exploring a more R&B style of music, Malik has also become increasingly involved in the fashion and modeling industries.
Though their days as One Direction may be temporarily on hold, the five singers have all been far from dormant. From starting families to coming out with new music, the band’s members have exciting new sounds and opportunities still ahead of them. Here’s to hoping rumors of their hiatus turning into a permanent split are proved false by a glorious reunion in the near future.