One Direction fans have spent the past few days in mourning.
The British boy band has finally done what we all knew was coming, but chose to ignore. The band has officially broken up, and all members have announced their departures.
Though they claim this a “hiatus,” we all know the era is over.
One Direction was formed on the British version of The X Factor produced by Simon Cowell in 2010.
The five members, Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson, and Niall Horan, auditioned separately, but were all put together for a boy band group. Cowell believed the group had potential due to their voices and good looks.
A Throwback to the 90s
Boy bands were extremely popular in the 90s with bands like N’Sync and Backstreet Boys blowing up the charts, but by the 2000s, they became almost non-existent. They didn’t succeed as well as they did in the 90s because music, as always, evolves.
The forming of One Direction brought back the boy band era, even if only for a little while. Their songs were catchy, filled with lyrics that made girls’ hearts melt, and were – okay, yes – maybe a little cheesy.
The Silver Lining
Though some fans have probably dreaded any truth regarding the rumours of a possible breakup that started back in 2015, these musicians have great potential to make it on their own, just as Cowell believed they would together.
Zayn Malik is living proof of that potential. In 2015, the band announced member Zayn Malik was leaving One Direction during their tour for their fourth album, Four. Malik signed a solo deal with RCA Records in that same year.
He released his first solo album, Mind of Mine, in March of this year, which did extremely well. The album strays away from the traditional One Direction theme, but this seems to have worked in Malik’s favour.
Combining multiple genres such as R&B, pop, folk, soul, dub, electronic and more, Malik made a name for himself in the music industry as a solo artist. He was praised for his strong vocal performance, and the experimental production.
Mind of Mine debuted at the No.1 spot in the U.K., U.S., Argentina, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Sweden and Taiwan. Malik became the first UK male artist to premiere at No.1 in both the U.K. and U.S. with his debut album.
You can tell throughout the album how much time and effort Malik put in it, compared to him singing along with four other members in a boy band about trying to have fun and meet girls.
Upcoming Projects in Music, Film & Sports
The other members are also doing their own thing, some choosing to go solo like Zayn, and others choosing to go other routes.
Harry Styles is currently in the middle of filming the latest Christopher Nolan flick, Dunkirk. The World War II film is set to come out in 2017 and Styles will star alongside Tom Hardy and Mark Rylance.
Earlier this year, Billboard reported Styles also signed a solo deal with Columbia Records, the same company who represented One Direction. Apparently, Styles will start recording a solo album after filming is over.
Another member who has officially signed off on a solo deal is Liam Payne. Payne took to Twitter last week to announce his official departure from One Direction (the last one to do so by the way). Payne signed up with Capitol Records U.K., and expressed his excitement for this new “chapter” in his life.
Niall Horan is doing pretty well for himself as well. With an alleged deal with Simon Cowell’s record company, Syco, we could be hearing music from Horan very soon.
But don’t hold your breathe. A rep for Horan told the Daily Mail he was not interested in a solo career right now. Horan may be putting off his solo deal because of his active golfing management career. Horan owns a golfing agency called Modern Golf Management.
Also doing things his own way is member Louis Tomlinson. Tomlinson signed up as a footballer for the Doncaster Rovers of the Football League Championship on a non-contract basis in 2013.
In early 2015, speculation started about Tomlinson possibly impregnating his friend, Briana Jungwirth. In August 2015, Tomlinson confirmed the reports on Good Morning America. He became a father to a baby boy, Freddie Reign in January 2016.
In June 2016, America’s Got Talent announced Tomlinson will be joining the judging panel as a guest in the upcoming season. He will assist former mentor and creator of One Direction, Simon Cowell.
As for a solo deal, we are just not sure about Tomlinson. He has the voice and the star power, but he seems to be focused on being a family man. Maybe Tomlinson will become like Cowell, finding the next big stars.
So for all the boy band lovers out there, I know it sucks One Direction didn’t last very long. After six years though, music changes, people evolve, and change is inevitable.
On the bright side, audiences got to see another boy band era, much like The Beatles craze or the 90s boy band pandemonium. Many thought we wouldn’t get to, but we did.
So to One Direction, thank you for bringing back boy band music and keeping it alive for another six years.
About the Author
Forever a 1D fan, Nicole O’Brien is also owner of entertainment blog Here for Your Entertainment.