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> Digital Spy: sum-up of the post-break careers so far
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post Jul 31 2016, 07:24 PM
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Group: Chart Mod
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This time last year, One Direction were celebrating yet another UK chart-topper with their sky-soaring single 'Drag Me Down'. All was rosy in the land of the Directioners. Or so they thought.

Little over a month later, the news broke that in 2016 the four remaining boys would take a year-long hiatus. Nearly 12 months on and that promise seems unlikely to be fulfilled, as the boys embark on solo projects that hint at a longer split than planned.

So what are they all up to? Digital Spy analyses the post-band careers of the famous five (we've included Zayn) so far, to see who's been hot off the heel that was 1D mania.

Harry Styles: 60 million quid, Snow Patrol and Hollywood

All through One Direction's time at the top, Harry Styles was always touted as the Robbie or Justin Timberlake of the band. Basically, everyone assumed he'd be the first to release a massive album and become even bigger than the phenomenon that launched him.

This could still happen. In fact, it looks like, out of all the 1D boys, Harry has bagged himself the most lucrative post-band record deal. He signed with Sony's Columbia for a reported $80 million (60m) for three solo albums, essentially quadrupling his estimated personal fortune of 17m.

What's more, he's apparently already been hard at work on songs with Snow Patrol's Johnny McDaid. "I'm really excited by the way he's sounding at the minute, he's such a talent," the singer-songwriter said back in May. "I think the world is going to be really shocked at what he comes up with."
Harry Styles, seen filming scenes for movie Dunkirk, Swanage, 25 July 2016

But fans hoping to hear Harry's solo effort this year are likely to be disappointed. Although not completely out of the question, it's looking highly likely 2017 will be Hazza's time to dent the chart. Why? Well he's currently forging a new career in Hollywood.

The 22-year-old is currently filming Christopher Nolan's new World War II film Dunkirk alongside Tom Hardy and Kenneth Branagh. It came at hefty price though. He had to chop off his famous curly locks. We're sure he'll be growing them back soon, as he's reported to be in the running to play British rocker Mick Jagger in an upcoming Rolling Stones biopic. Harry has quite literally hit the ground running after leaving the group.

Louis Tomlinson: X Factor, record label and fatherhood

While the other boys are looking towards Robbie and JT for solo inspiration, Louis Tomlinson's influence is a lot more closer to home. The popstar has been very open about the fact he'd like to take after his boss Simon Cowell.

So far, he's doing alright. Set up your own record label. Done! Draw up plans to put together a new pop group. Sorted! Become a TV talent judge in both the US and the UK. On it! Have a surprise baby son. Call me daddy!

In the spotlight, Louis has served as a guest judge on The X Factor in the UK last year, while also taking up a seat on America's Got Talent earlier this month. Behind the scenes he has been putting together a new girl group, who he plans to sign to his own label.

But Louis's first role post-1D was to become a father to little Freddie Reign. The star had the newborn with LA-based Briana Jugworth back in January, and regularly flies over to visit him.

Niall Horan: golf, Soccer Aid and a call from Cowell

When One Direction's time together was starting to slow down at the end of 2015, Niall looked a little lost. His plans? Basically to just go on holiday all year. We didn't blame him to be honest.

But of course, the little Irish charmer wasn't going to let all the post-group buzz escape him. While he's spent most of the year so far training for Soccer Aid, or generally enjoying himself on the golf course, he also inked a new record deal with Simon Cowell.
Niall Horan at the BMW PGA Championship

And the Syco boss is eager for Niall to strike while the iron is hot. It's likely we'll get the blonde star's solo debut later this year. He's already been in the studio with 1D hit-maker Wayne Hector. "Niall is really gifted musically and is a great guitarist," Hector noted. Niall will become One Direction's answer to Ed Sheeran yet.

Liam Payne: Cheryl, J Lo and Simon's snub

When One Direction first went on hiatus earlier in the year, it looked like Liam Payne was going to go all hip-hop on us. Juicy J and Wiz Khalifa popped out a new track featuring Payno's vocals, but he was quick to tell fans that it was just a pet project and nothing more.

Soon after, Liam caught the lovebug and is now in a high profile relationship with former X Factor judge Cheryl. They had plenty of fun winding up the world with their cheeky Instagram snaps, and we wouldn't be surprised if Liam put his songwriting talent to good use on Chezza's new solo album.

But while Liam has spoken about taking a behind the scenes role as a songwriter - and has been busy making songs for Jennifer Lopez, no less - he has also secured himself a new deal to launch his solo superstar bid. But it ruffled a few feathers.
Cheryl, Liam Payne red carpet debut

Payno became the first, and so far only, member of One Direction to sign a deal outside of Sony Music. The 22-year-old instead decided on a new home at Capitol Records with Sam Smith and 5 Seconds Of Summer. "One Direction will always be my home and family but I'm very excited to see what this chapter brings," he tweeted after the announcement.

Cowell, however, was seemingly a little bitter over the departure. "We're in touch with them all," he recently said of the 1D boys. "The great thing about all these boys - well not all of them, but most of them - they are incredibly loyal, and you don't always expect that." But here comes the bite: "Niall, Harry, Louis - amazing." Blimey.

Zayn Malik: No 1s, Ghostbusters and metal arms

As we all know, Zayn Mailk had a one year head-start over his former 1D bandmates, and it's worked out pretty nicely for him so far. He scored the chart double in both the UK and US with his debut single 'Pillowtalk' and first album Mind Of Mine both hitting No.1

Although follow-up single 'Like I Would' didn't fare just as well, it's still a belter of a song with a really great music video. And it hasn't deterred pretty much every fashion mag - from Elle to L'Uomo Vogue - putting Zayn's beautiful face on their front cover. It helps that he's also dating one of the world's most famous fashion models, Gigi Hadid. And how could we forget his awesome metal arms at thew Met Gala? It was about time male popstars upped their game in the outfit stakes.

However, a headline tour is still looking uncertain at this point. Zayn was booked to play Capital's huge Summertime Ball show at Wembley Stadium back in June, but pulled out at the last minute after suffering from anxiety.

"Unfortunately my anxiety that has haunted me throughout the last few months around live performances has gotten the better of me ... With the magnitude of the event, I have suffered the worst anxiety of my career," he said. Apparently he's since been seeking help, so hopefully we'll see him back on that stage soon.

More recently, Zayn recorded new song 'wHo' for the Ghostbusters soundtrack, and features on Snakehips' chilled new single 'Cruel'. Oh, and it looks like he's eager to follow Harry into Hollywood. "I started acting when I was in school with theatre studies and then music came after," he explained to ELLE UK. "It completely stopped when I joined the band but I'd definitely be interested if I was given the right role."

Quite interesting to read over that summary actually! 4 of the 5 seemingly having a record contract, just Louis without one unsurprisingly lol.
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