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Liam Payne Becomes Record Third One Direction Member to Top Pop Songs Chart, Dethroning Niall Horan

Payne's "Strip That Down" follows Horan's "Slow Hands" to No. 1, after Zayn led in 2016 with "Pillowtalk." One Direction is the first act with three soloists each with Pop Songs No. 1s.

One Direction becomes the first group to spin off three soloists each with No. 1s on Billboard‘s Pop Songs radio airplay chart, as Liam Payne‘s “Strip That Down,” featuring Quavo, rises 2-1 on the latest tally, dated Oct. 14. (Both Payne and Quavo make their first trip to the top of the chart.)

Payne directly replaces Niall Horan‘s “Slow Hands,” which topped the chart dated Oct. 7. The two 1D members follow former member Zayn, who led the list for two weeks in May 2016 with “Pillowtalk.”

(The Pop Songs chart, which began in 1992, measures total weekly plays, as tabulated by Nielsen Music, among its reporting panel of 164 mainstream top 40 stations.)

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Only one other group features even two soloists each with Pop Songs No. 1s: Destiny’s Child, as Beyonce has earned six solo leaders and Kelly Rowland has scored one. As a group, Destiny’s Child collected two Pop Songs No. 1s: “Jumpin’, Jumpin’ ” and “Independent Women Part 1.”

Meanwhile, with Payne succeeding Horan, it’s the first time that two members of the same group have reigned back-to-back on Pop Songs. (Honorable mention to Maroon 5, whose “Moves Like Jagger,” featuring Christina Aguilera, led for six weeks in 2011 before being dethroned by “Stereo Hearts” by Gym Class Heroes featuring Maroon 5 lead singer Adam Levine, for three weeks.)


Beyond Zayn, Horan and Payne, the other two members of One Direction have yet to lead Pop Songs: Harry Styles reached a No. 12 high with “Sign of the Times” in April and Louis Tomlinson peaked at No. 25 three weeks ago with “Back to You,” featuring Bebe Rexha and Digital Farm Animals. One Direction has not hit No. 1 on Pop Songs, either; its debut entry, “What Makes You Beautiful,” rose highest, to No. 3 in 2012.

On the all-genre airplay, streaming and sales-based Billboard Hot 100, Payne’s “Strip” has hit a No. 10 peak to date. Check back later today for highlights of the new, Oct. 14-dated Hot 100’s top 10. All charts will update tomorrow (Oct. 3) on Billboard.com.