One Year After One Direction's Hiatus Announcement: A Timeline
With Niall Horan's new solo song out, we look back at a year since that fateful August 2015 reveal.
One Direction have gone in, well, a whole bunch of different directions since announcing their extended hiatus back in August 2015. The announcement came before the November release of the boy band’s fifth studio album, Made in the A.M., the band’s first record without former fifth member Zayn Malik.
The four members didn’t tour following the album’s release and rather revealed that they would use the hiatus to explore their own projects -- possibly seeking the same solo success Zayn found. It’s clear a whole lot has happened since the hiatus started, so Billboard decided to break it all down. Here’s what each member (current and former -- we're looking at you, Zayn) have been up to.
-Malik parted ways with One Direction in March 2015. There was no bad blood, as Zayn said he and the four others will remain friends for life. It was also made clear the four remaining members of the band would continue on. At the time, Malik said he wanted to experience life as a normal 22-year-old, though he later told Complex he didn’t want to maintain the image of being a “young boy” and that while he was a member of the group, he wasn’t allowed to have his beard or dye his hair -- which he did soon after leaving the band.
-Several months after leaving One Direction, Malik revealed that his engagement to Little Mix's Perrie Edwards had been called off. Several fans blamed Edwards for Malik exiting the group -- going as far as calling her a modern-day Yoko Ono.
- In a case of coincidental -- or perhaps perfectly planned -- timing, Malik released his debut solo album Mind of Mine on March 25 -- exactly one year after he left One Direction. Malik’s debut, which included the Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 hit “Pillow Talk,” showcased a whole new side of the artist, as it featured more intricate production and largely diverged from the work he did in 1D. Following the album, he embarked on his first solo tour -- though he has since canceled a handful of dates due to anxiety.
-Prior to the release of Mind of Mine, Malik and model Gigi Hadid started dating. She appeared in his tripped-out music video for “Pillow Talk.”
-Currently, Malik has two projects in the works that are (sort of) outside of music. He recently announced the upcoming TV project Boys based on his time in 1D, to be produced by Dick Wolf. Additionally, Malik is writing a book: Zayn will be available in November.
-As for the most recent Malik news of all, he shaved off his facial hair -- which he revealed in an Instagram post, showing off his newly clean-shaven look.
-Debuting his modeling chops, Harry Styles fronts the new fall/winter ’16 issue of AnOther Man. A series of three covers show the singer's hair-shedding process before revealing his new haircut. Styles is interviewed by Beatles frontman Paul McCartney and comedian Chelsea Handler for the cover story.
-Styles signed a major record deal with Columbia Records.
-Though there's no indication of an actual album release, the former 1D member did register four song titles with the ASCAP.
-On Sept. 28, Shawn Mendes revealed to James Corden on The Late Late Show that he and Horan will definitely be collaborating in the near future.
-The very next day, on Sept. 29, Horan released his debut solo song “This Town.” In addition to the release, he announced he has also signed with Capitol Records.
-Tomlinson welcomed his baby boy Freddie into the world with stylist Briana Jungwirth back in January.
-Louis and Simon Cowell announce plans to start a girl band via Louis’ own imprint on Syco Entertainment, Cowell’s label.
-In November, Payne discussed, during a BBC 1 Radio interview, the band’s impending hiatus. “Obviously we're all going to take a break for a bit first and then consider where we are in the world," he said.
-In January, Payne started the year off strong, as he posted a preview of a song he “wrote for fun.” Similarly to Malik, the song’s style is far from that of One Direction as it veers more toward rap and hip-hop.
Plus: A Boy Band 'Expert' Talks One Direction