- Boyband One Direction (1D) formed in 2010 during an episode of the British reality show “The X Factor.”
- Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, and Zayn Malik, released multiple albums together before taking a hiatus from music in the mid-2010s.
- Each of the band’s members has continued to pursue a solo career, and they have all released at least one solo album.
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Pop boyband One Direction (1D) was formed by music mogul Simon Cowell in 2010 during an episode of the British singing competition series, “The X Factor.”
Consisting of Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne, Niall Horan, and Harry Styles, One Direction came in third place during their season of the show.
Although they didn’t win the show, the band went on to have an illustrious career, releasing five albums in five years, touring the world from 2011 to 2015, and winning countless musical awards.
But in the past few years, the band’s five initial members have come a long way in terms of their solo careers.
Here’s how the members of One Direction have changed from their auditions on “The X Factor” to now.
Zayn Malik initially had a rough time on “The X Factor.”
17-year-old Zayn Malik, a native of Bradford, England, auditioned for “X Factor” by singing Mario’s hit song “Let Me Love You.”
The judges unanimously advanced Malik to the next round of the show but the singer nearly sabotaged his chances of moving forward when he refused to perform in the choreography round of the series that followed.
In an interview, he said he hated dancing and had never done it before.
After a pep talk from Simon Cowell, one of the show’s judges, Malik went through with the dance performance that would eventually help to lead him to his union with the other future members of One Direction.
Malik has released two solo albums since he left One Direction in 2015.
On March 25, 2015, Malik left One Direction and the remaining band members continued to tour and record an album without him.
“After five incredible years Zayn Malik has decided to leave One Direction. Niall, Harry, Liam and Louis will continue as a four-piece and look forward to the forthcoming concerts of their world tour and recording their fifth album, due to be released later this year,” said the announcement from the official One Direction Facebook page.
In January 2016, less than a year after his departure from 1D, Malik released his first solo album, an alternative R&B record called “Mind of Mine.” The album featured his hit single “Pillowtalk.”
In 2017, Malik released the hit single “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever,” a duet with Taylor Swift that’s part of the soundtrack for the film “50 Shades Darker.”
In December 2018, Malik released his second album, “Icarus Falls.” The disc includes collaborations with fellow industry moguls like Sia and Nicki Minaj.
Over the past few years, the singer has also famously ripped apart One Direction’s music, even saying he did not make any life-long friends during his time in the band.
Currently, he and his on-again, off-again girlfriend Gigi Hadid are reportedly expecting their first child together.
Louis Tomlinson had a small role in a movie before auditioning for “X Factor.”
The Doncaster, England, native is the oldest member of One Direction and he auditioned for the “The X Factor” when he was 18 years old.
For his audition, Tomlinson performed The Plain White T’s song “Hey There Delilah” and earned a unanimous “Yes” from all of the judges.
Tomlinson continues to release and produce music.
In 2016, Tomlinson released the single, “Just Hold On,” a collaboration with producer and DJ Steve Aoki. That same year, Tomlinson welcomed his son Freddie, whom he shares with hairstylist Briana Jungwirth.
In 2018, Tomlinson was a judge and mentor on the US version of “The X Factor” and one of his mentees, Dalton Harris, won the entire competition.
Prior to becoming part of One Direction, Liam Payne was no stranger to “The X Factor.”
When he appeared in the season that would make boyband history, 16-year-old Liam Payne was actually auditioning for “The X Factor” for the second time.
Payne first auditioned for the show in 2008 and although he made it past the initial audition round, the singer did not advance to the final rounds of the series.
His second audition was a success – Payne sang “Cry Me a River” and received a unanimous “Yes” from the judges. Two judges even gave him a standing ovation.
Payne has released a number of projects, and he’s collaborated with many artists.
In March 2017, Payne became the second member of One Direction to become a father when he and Cole welcomed a baby boy named Bear. That same year, Payne released his hit single “Strip That Down,” featuring the rapper Quavo.
In October of 2018, the singer released a joint track with Lennon Stella and Jonas Blue titled “Polaroid.”That same year, Payne also recorded a duet with singer Rita Ora for the movie soundtrack of “Fifty Shades Freed” and he released the track “Familiar” with artist J. Balvin.
Niall Horan set his sights on stardom at the beginning of his career.
Mullingar, Ireland, native Niall Horan first auditioned for the “The X Factor” in Dublin, Ireland, at just 16 years old.
His performance of Ne-Yo’s “So Sick” received mixed reviews from the judges, including celebrity guest Katy Perry, but Horan ultimately advanced to the next round.
At the time of his appearance, Horan said he wanted to “be like big names in the world, like Beyoncé and Justin Bieber.” Horan also said one of his goals was to sell out arenas, something the Irish singer would later do as a member of One Direction.
In recent years, Horan has released two albums and has gone on tour.
Like his bandmates, Horan pursued a solo career following the band’s hiatus.
He released his first solo album “Flicker” in 2017 and he concluded his first solo international tour in September of 2018.
That same year, he released “Finally Free” for the movie soundtrack of the animated film “Smallfoot.”
Since then, he’s also released a track with singer-songwriter Julia Michaels titled “What a Time.“
Toward the end of 2019, Horan released a few new singles including “Nice to Meet Ya” and “Put a Little Love on Me.”
In March 2020, he released his second album, “Heartbreak Weather,” which was met with fairly positive reviews.
Harry Styles left a local band and a bakery job to audition for “The X Factor.”
On “The X Factor,” fans first got to know Harry Styles as a 16-year-old from Holmes Chapel, England, who worked part-time at a bakery.
At the time of his audition, Styles shared that he was the lead singer in a band called White Eskimo that he had created with his schoolmates. He also said being in that band inspired him to pursue a career in music.
During his audition, Styles told the judges he planned to begin college in the fall and he would be studying law, business, sociology and “something else.”
Styles impressed two out of the three judges with his rendition of Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely.” He advanced to the next round and he would later be the one to come up with the famed boyband’s name, One Direction.
In recent years, Styles released two albums, performed at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, went on tour, and had a role in a movie.
In 2017, Styles made his acting debut as part of the war drama “Dunkirk.” That same year, he released his first solo album, “Harry Styles,” which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 album charts.
And at the end of 2017, the singer performed at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. He also went on a world tour of his self-titled debut album which wrapped in July of 2018.
In 2019, Styles presented an award to Stevie Nicks during the 2019 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony and he was also co-chair at the 2019 Met Gala alongside stars like Lady Gaga and Serena Williams.
In December 2019, he dropped his second album “Fine Line,” which was met with critical acclaim.
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