It’s been just over a year since One Direction, the remaining four members, anyway, officially went on hiatus. The boy band had announced they were planning on taking some time off from one another months prior to that, but they still had an album to promote and a global tour waiting to be tackled, but once all of that was out of the way, there was no keeping them together. All five former One Direction members have now officially launched solo singing careers in one form or another, and more new music is expected from most of them throughout the rest of 2017. So, how do they compare to one another in the U.S.? Which star has America accepted on their own the most?
According to the charts, Zayn is having the most successful solo career of all the one-time One Direction members. He is the only singer to score both a No. 1 album and song here in the States, and that’s not all he has to his credit. Zayn Malik, or simply Zayn these days, started his debut album Mind Of Mine and his first single on his own, “Pillowtalk,” at the top of their respective charts, which is rare for any “new” artist, though of course Zayn already had a built-in fanbase.
In addition to those two chart-toppers, Zayn partnered with Taylor Swift for their Fifty Shades Darker soundtrack cut “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever,” which almost gave both pop stars another No. 1, though it was held back and it stalled in the runner-up position. Zayn has also managed to place three other tracks on the Hot 100, including his most recent attempt at a hit, “Still Got Time,” which peaked at No. 66.
"Pillowtalk" has been certified triple platinum, "I Don't Wanna Live Forever" has earned a double platinum award and his album went gold, as it moved at least 500,000 units.
So far, Styles is the only other former boybander to release a full-length. His debut album, a self-titled rock effort, owned the Billboard 200 for one week just last month. The record has spun off one official single, “Sign Of The Times,” which kicked off its time on the Hot 100 at No. 4, making him the second 1D singer to hit the top 10 in the U.S. Only one other track with his name attached to it, the promotional single “Sweet Creature,” has reached the tally as well, though that may change as he continues to promote the album. It might only be a few months old, but "Sign Of The Times" has already been certified gold for shipping half a million equivalent copies.
The Irish constituent in the British group might not have gotten around to composing and sharing a complete album just yet, but he’s been busy on the singles front. Last year, Niall Horan scored a top 20 hit with the sweet “This Town,” which sonically recalled the quintet that made him a star. 2017 has been all about the much sexier “Slow Hands,” which has broken into the top 40, and which could continue to grow in the coming months with some serious radio support. "Slow Hands" is still going strong, while "This Town" has already gone platinum thanks to over one million units being moved between sales and streams.
The most recent and final 1D star to go solo, Liam has opted for a more sultry, club-ready sound, and it’s been met with mixed reviews so far. His only offering under the moniker Liam Payne, “Strip That Down,” peaked at No. 42 on the Hot 100, just barely missing passing the top 40 threshold. Even a feature from Quavo, perhaps the most in-demand rapper in the world at the moment, couldn’t turn the tune into a true smash.
While Louis has technically released a song under his own name, his life as a solo artist has only sort of started. He provided the featured vocals on electronic dance producer Steve Aoki’s “Just Hold On,” a dance-pop affair clearly aimed towards the top of the charts. While it was a charting success in his home country, here in America it only reached No. 52 on the Hot 100. Perhaps when Louis shares more of what he’s been working on his standing will improve, but for the moment, he’s in last among his bandmates.