“Saturday Night Live” just announced that One Direction star Harry Styles will be performing solo as the musical guest on April 15. He’s the latest member of the British boy band to strike out on his own, but which member has the most potential to become a solo superstar? Sometimes leaving the band is the best thing to happen to an artist’s career, as it was for Justin Timberlake when he left N Sync and Beyonce when she ventured away from Destiny’s Child. Can any One Direction members replicate that level of success?
Before he takes the stage on “SNL,” Styles will release his debut solo single on April 7 according to Billboard. But a few of his bandmates already have a head start. Before One Direction officially went on hiatus Zayn Malik left the group in 2015 and released his debut solo album, “Mind of Mine,” in March 2016. It debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 albums chart and its lead single, “Pillowtalk,” topped the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. He then collaborated with Taylor Swift on the single “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” from the film “Fifty Shades Darker,” which recently peaked at number-two and is currently still in the top five. And he just released another single, “Still Got Time” featuring PARTYNEXTDOOR, with his sophomore album soon to come.
Niall Horan also released his first solo material in 2016. His single “This Town” was released on September 29. In November he performed it at the American Music Awards, where One Direction has won multiple prizes. It ultimately reached the top five on Billboard’s Adult Top 40 chart.
A few months after Horan’s song came out, Louis Tomlinson released his debut solo single, “Just Hold On,” a collaboration with electronic dance music artist Steve Aoki. That song was released on December 10 and became a top-10 hit on Billboard’s Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart.
The fifth member of the group, Liam Payne, signed with Capitol Records UK last July, but he hasn’t yet released his own music as a solo artist.
Which One Direction star do you think has the most potential for success on his own? Vote in our poll below, and discuss this and more with your fellow music fans in our forums.