On July 23, 2010, one of the most successful
of recent years was formed.
Five boys in search of a dream presented themselves, separately, to the program
The X Factor
in the United Kingdom.
Although none of them managed to win the contest, during its broadcast they were brought together to offer them a new opportunity: this time as a group.
And the rest is history.
Niall Horan (Mullingar, Ireland, 29 years old), Zayn Malik (Bradford, United Kingdom, 30 years old), Liam Payne (Wolverhampton, United Kingdom, 29 years old), Harry Styles (Redditch, United Kingdom, 29 years old) and Louis Tomlinson ( Doncaster, United Kingdom, 31 years old) they had no idea, that day, that they would quickly become one of the most important youth music bands in history with 200 million records sold.
The success did not cease in the five years that they remained together: world tours with all the tickets sold, awards, international recognition and millions of followers who followed each one of their steps.
But everything that goes up, goes down... although in this case, it wasn't for lack of audience.
On March 25, 2015, Zayn Malik decided to end his time as a member of the band in the hope of "having a normal life for a 22-year-old."
Despite his departure, Niall, Liam, Harry and Louis continued with their tour plans and even released a new album:
Made in the AM
From Dua Lipa to Elton John, from Pedro Pascal to Bella Ramsey: the success of intergenerational duos
However, five months after Zayn's departure, the members announced a hiatus as a band.
"We are not breaking, but we will take a well-deserved rest next year," Niall Horan posted on his Twitter account.
A "break" that has lasted for eight years, in which each one of them has experienced very different destinies: from the international success of some to those who have had to look for a life alone, with hardly any support.
From left to right, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, Zayn Malik, Harry Styles and Niall Horan during the filming of 'The X Factor' in November 2010. Dominic Lipinski - PA Images (Getty Images)
Zayn Malik, the first to start his solo career
Although Malik's departure was initially due to the fact that he supposedly wanted to have a normal life, it took him only a few months to sign a record contract as a soloist with the RCA label.
In early 2016 he released his first single,
A song with which he became the first British male artist to debut at number one in the United Kingdom and the United States and with which he confirmed his relationship with the model Gigi Hadid, star of the video clip.
Two months later, coinciding with the first anniversary of his departure from One Direction, he would publish his first album,
Mind of Mine,
which was accompanied by good music reviews.
Some releases that served to show that there was life beyond the band.
Two other albums would come later:
Nobody Is Listening
(2021), but with none he achieved the same recognition as with his debut.
It could be said that her musical career went from more to less.
Increasingly away from the stage due to his anxiety problems, the former member of One Direction has become the focus of the heart press due to his relationship with Gigi Hadid.
In 2020, the couple became parents to their first daughter, Khai Hadid Malik.
But the love did not last long and a few months later they announced their breakup, with a bitter controversy between the vocalist and the model's family.
Yolanda, Hadid's mother, claimed to have been assaulted by her son-in-law after an argument that occurred on September 29, 2021 and filed charges against him, who denied what happened: "For the sake of my daughter,
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Louis Tomlinson, the discreet soloist
The beginnings for Louis Tomlinson alone were not easy.
He was the most reluctant to separate and, furthermore, he had to experience how his career did not take off as he would have liked, while that of his colleagues did.
The terms of the disintegration of the group, which at first was momentary, did not benefit the artist at all.
"Zayn's departure was the beginning of the end," explains Tomlinson in the documentary about his life that premiered on March 22,
All Of Those Voices
“I thought: 'What am I going to do after this?'” He says too.
The main problem was his lack of self-esteem, since he did not trust himself or his future musical career.
Despite being in charge of composing most of the band's songs, he barely had verses to interpret.
In addition, months after the separation he had to face the loss of his mother, Johannah, due to leukemia.
Three years later, in 2019, his sister Felicité died of an overdose.
Tomlinson has acknowledged that in the beginning he envied his former partner Harry Styles for the triumph that he began to reap as a soloist.
But he soon took it as a reference to follow in his footsteps.
His first song,
Just Hold On
, is dedicated to his mother, who died days before the premiere of the song, which he presented in the final of the British program
The X-Factor 2016
The stage where he became known also became the space in which he would re-emerge as an artist.
Two albums have come after that moment:
Faith in the Future
Although he hasn't achieved the success of the rest of his peers, he has a legion of unconditional fans.
In his last concert in Spain, held last August in Malaga, he brought together more than 15,000 people.
Discreet with his private life, the man from Doncaster has a son with his ex-partner, the model Briana Jungwirth: Freddie, seven years old.
Louis Tomlinson at the premiere of his documentary 'All Of Those Voices' in London, on March 16, 2023. Ian West (PA/Cordon Press)
Liam Payne, disappeared from the music scene
The last of the five members of One Direction to release his music as a solo artist was Liam Payne.
He finally did it in May 2017 with
Strip That Down.
Almost six years after its release, the song is about to reach one billion views on Spotify, a difficult figure to achieve.
However, that musical career that started in style has been fading away.
Very focused on his personal life, he has a six-year-old son with the artist Cheryl Cole, who was also part of a well-known British band, Girls Aloud, and from whom he is separated.
Now, the British singer is completely missing from the music industry, although he has made numerous headlines in recent weeks due to his obvious cosmetic facial changes.
Despite the fact that he has not finished succeeding, he is an unconditional support for the rest of his classmates, as he demonstrated by being the only one of the band who attended the premiere of Tomlinson's documentary.
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Niall Horan, the second boy who triumphs
Like the rest of his peers, the Irishman Niall Horan focused on his solo career as soon as he finished the One Direction chapter.
In 2016, he released his first track,
, which would later be included on his first album,
A record that took him around the world on tour.
Of course, in rooms with a much smaller capacity than what he was used to.
One way or another, he quickly achieved success.
Always in the background in One Direction —on more than one occasion they turned off his microphone in the middle of concerts— he saw how he was finally the sole protagonist.
In 2020 he released his second album:
, with songs that exceed 250 million views.
He is the second most listened to member of the group on Spotify —almost 30 million—, only behind Harry Styles.
Next June he will publish his third album:
Niall Horan stands with President Joe Biden at a St. Patrick's Day celebration at the White House, Washington, on March 17, 2023. Niall Carson (PA / Cordon Press)
Harry Styles, success by flag
Harry Styles has become one of the most important international artists in recent years.
A success that has caught few by surprise, since in One Direction he was already the star.
His first song,
Sign of the Times
, was a long time coming (it came out in April 2017), but he did it in a big way: climbing to the top of the sales charts.
A promising start with which the artist demonstrated that his music was going to be linked to his feelings and ideas.
He has already released three albums:
(2019) and the highly acclaimed
(2022), which won the Grammy for album of the year (he has two others).
On his latest album, the most personal to date, he introspects to use the concept of
as a metaphor for the inside of his mind.
Beyond his music, Harry Styles is an icon for many: he completely rejects the typical stereotypes of masculinity and breaks with the imposed gender norms, and he does it without breaking a sweat.
Harry Styles collects the Grammy for Best Album of the Year, on February 5, 2023, in Los Angeles.USA TODAY Network (Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY/Sipa / Cordon Press)
In addition to his vocation as a singer and having been a model for several Gucci campaigns, the artist has made the leap to the film industry in
(2017), the controversial
Don't worry, dear
(2022), among others.
His personal life has also been the protagonist of the headlines: he had a relationship with the singer Taylor Swift (who even dedicated a song to him,
), the model Kendall Jenner and the actress and director Olivia Wilde, who precisely directed him in
Don't worry, dear
and with whom he broke up in November after two years of relationship.
The shadow of One Direction still falls on its members, to a greater or lesser extent.
With each of them immersed in their own musical career and, although most of them maintain cordial relations and support each other publicly, the return of the group is already impossible.
“I just want to be in One Direction again, but that's not an option anymore,” Tomlinson muses in his recent documentary.
"I wish I could rewind time and play with them again."