One Direction Went 5 Different Ways, Here Are Their Solo Careers, Ranked

One Direction Went 5 Different Ways, Here Are Their Solo Careers, Ranked

I have a very trustworthy and respected voice when it comes to One Direction.

I feel like I have a very trustworthy and respected voice when it comes to discussing all things One Direction. I have been in this Directioner business for a long time now, since the late hours of 2011. Yes, it’s been a long road traveling with these crazy boys and the even crazier fans who follow them, but I’m now left with authority on the subject of One Direction as well as a vague shred of my dignity.

5. Louis

I'm a little biased because Louis was always my least favorite of the band (if any Directioner told you they didn't play favorites, they're a bold faced liar). Something about him just rubs me the wrong way, and thus his solo career is tainted in my eyes. I really hated that he opened with a single so heavy with features that it felt like he was trying too hard. If it isn't evident, it's hard to sway me once I make up my mind.

4. Zayn

Zayn is like the Donnie Wahlberg of 1D: we all care a lot more about his love life than his solo career. Is he modeling in Vogue and looking absolutely spectacular? Yes and yes. BUT he’s modeling with beau Gigi Hadid which makes millions around the world swoon and tag the pair as #goals. Regardless of if he was the first of the five to release solo music, we’re not really going out of our way to play "Mind of Mine" on repeat; however, the new Vogue issue, despite being problematic, shows that whether or not we’re still listening to “Pillowtalk”, Zayn is doing just fine on his own.

3. Liam

Liam was originally behind Zayn, seeing as Zayn released one of the top songs in 2017 and Liam didn't. However, Liam came out with his own song for a Fifty Shades movie, and it’s kind of better than “I Don’t Want to Live Forever”. Plus, he has a child I actually care about, and the honor of being third on this specific list instead of fourth does a lot to keep Liam in the public’s good graces, and thus employable enough to support his newly expanded family.

2. Niall

Niall has grown up so much since leaving One Direction and I really have to hand it to him. He’s let his natural hair grow out, he's gotten even more aggressively into golf, and is doing bizarre stuff like this:

He's really doing nothing wrong nowadays and remains One Direction's Unproblematic Fav. Because of this, I just can't say anything bad or find a reason to rank him any lower.

1. Harry

There are not many performers whose show I would buy tickets for exactly a year before the show was actually set to take place. Yet, I found myself inexplicably using my work laptop in June 2017 to purchase tickets for a Harry Styles concert in June 2018.

There are not many performers who I would do this for, nor are there any others besides Harry on this list who I would do this for. For that reason alone, he should be top. But oh wait, there is so much more.

Harry's album is the least mainstream of them all, but the most fitting for his persona. Sure, you could argue that "Mind of Mine" was far more suited for Zayn's style than anything One Direction created was, but it as still far more mainstream than Harry Styles.

Not only has this sweet son of every 2000's tween girl's dreams gifted us with a Rolling Stone article, in which he defends the honor of female teenage fans across the world, he has the talent, the versatility, the artistic durability to play a critical role in a Christopher Nolan movie about war. Had Harry simply starred in a Hallmark movie, even a Disney funded film, we might have scoffed at him and his silly little acting endeavors.

But Harry answered the age-old question, "Which member of One Direction will be the Justin Timberlake?" by taking on a testing dramatic role. Why this man was not nominated for an Oscar, nay- a Golden Globe, NAY- a minute and remote artistic integrity award, the world may never know. But as consolation, he has the utmost honor of ranking first on this definitive list.

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

Popular Right Now

Why High School Musicals Should Be As Respected As Sports Programs Are

The arts are important, too.

When I was in middle school and high school, I felt like I lived for the musicals that my school orchestrated.

For those of you who don't know, a musical is an onstage performance wherein actors take on roles that involve singing, and often dancing, to progress the plot of the story. While it may sound a little bit nerdy to get up in front of an audience to perform in this manner, this is something you cannot knock until you try it.

For some reason, though, many public schools have de-funded arts programs that would allow these musicals to occur, while increasing the funding for sports teams. There are a few things that are being forgotten when sports are valued more than musical programs in high schools.

Much like athletic hobbies, an actor must try-out, or audition, to participate in a musical. Those best suited for each role will be cast, and those who would not fit well are not given a part. While this may sound similar to trying out for say, basketball, it is an apples to oranges comparison.

At a basketball try-out, those who have the most experience doing a lay-up or shooting a foul shot will be more likely to succeed, no questions asked. However, for an audition, it is common to have to learn a piece of choreography upon walking in, and a potential cast member will be required to sing a selected piece with only a few days of preparation.

There are many more variables involved with an audition that makes it that much more nerve-racking.

The cast of a school musical will often rehearse for several months to perfect their roles, with only several nights of performance at the end. Many sports practice for three or four days between each of their respective competitions. While this may seem to make sports more grueling, this is not always the case.

Musicals have very little pay-off for a large amount of effort, while athletic activities have more frequent displays of their efforts.

Athletes are not encouraged to but are allowed to make mistakes. This is simply not allowed for someone in a musical, because certain lines or entrances may be integral to the plot.

Sometimes, because of all the quick changes and the sweat from big dance numbers, the stage makeup just starts to smear. Despite this, an actor must smile through it all. This is the part of musicals that no sport has: introspection.

An actor must think about how he or she would respond in a given situation, be it saddening, maddening, frightening, or delightful. There is no sport that requires the knowledge of human emotion, and there is especially no sport that requires an athlete to mimic such emotion. This type of emotional exercise helps with communications and relationships.

Sports are great, don't get me wrong. I loved playing volleyball, basketball, track, and swimming, but there were no experiences quite like those from a musical. Sports challenge the body with slight amounts of tactic, while musicals require much physical and mental endurance.

The next time you hear someone say that it's “just a musical," just remember that musicals deserve as much respect as sports, since they are just as, if not more demanding.

Cover Image Credit: Cincinnati Arts

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

10 Shows To Watch If You're Sick Of 'The Office'

You can only watch it so many times...


"The Office" is a great show, and is super easy to binge watch over and over again! But if you're like me and you're looking for something new to binge, why not give some of these a try? These comedies (or unintentional comedies) are a great way to branch out and watch something new.

1. "New Girl"

A show about a group of friends living in an apartment in a big city? Sound familiar? But seriously, this show is original and fresh, and Nick Miller is an icon.

2. "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend"

Ya'll have been sleeping on this show. It's a musical comedy about a girl that follows her ex boyfriend across the country. I thought it sounded horrible so I put it off for WAY too long, but then I realized how incredible the cast, music, writing, and just EVERYTHING. It really brings important issues to light, and I can't say too much without spoiling it. Rachel Bloom (the creator of the show) is a woman ahead of her time.

3. "Jane the Virgin"

I know... another CW show. But both are so incredible! Jane The Virgin is a tongue-in-cheek comedy and parody of telenovelas. It has so many twists and turns, but somehow you find yourself laughing with the family.

4. "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"


Brooklyn Nine-Nine has been in popular news lately since its cancellation by Fox and sequential pickup by NBC. It's an amazing show about cops in, you guessed it, Brooklyn. Created by the amazing Michael Schur, it's a safe bet that if you loved "The Office" you'll also love his series "Brooklyn Nine-Nine".

5. "The Good Place"

Another series created by the talented Micael Schur, it's safe to say you've probably already heard about this fantasy-comedy series. With a wonderful cast and writing that will keep you on your toes, the show is another safe bet.

6. "Fresh Off The Boat"

Seriously, I don't know why more people don't watch this show. "Fresh Off The Boat" focuses on an Asian family living in Orlando in the mid 90s. Randall Parks plays a character who is the polar opposite of his character in "The Interview" (Yeah, remember that horrifying movie?) and Constance Wu is wonderful as always.

7. "Full House"

Why not go back to the basics? If you're looking for a nostalgic comedy, go back all the way to the early days of Full House. If you're a '98-'00 baby like me, you probably grew up watching the Tanner family on Nick at Night. The entire series is available on Hulu, so if all else fails just watch Uncle Jesse and Rebecca fall in love again or Michelle fall off a horse and somehow lose her memory.

8. "Secret Life of the American Teenager"

Okay, this show is not a comedy, but I have never laughed so hard in my life. It's off Netflix but it's still on Hulu, so you can watch this masterpiece there. Watch the terrible acting and nonsense plot twists drive this show into the ground. Somehow everyone in this school dates each other? And also has a baby? You just have to watch. It might be my favorite show of all time.

9. "Scrubs"

Another old show that is worth watching. If you ignore the last season, Scrubs is a worthwhile medical comedy about doctors in both their personal and medical life. JD and Turk's relationship is one to be jealous of, and one hilarious to watch. Emotional at times, this medical drama is superior to any medical drama that's out now.

10. "Superstore"

I was resistant to watch this one at first, because it looked cheesy. But once I started watching I loved it! The show is a workplace comedy, one you're sure to love if you can relate to working in retail. If you liked the Office, you'll like Superstore!

Related Content

Facebook Comments