What Is Going On With Liam Payne?

What Is Going On With Liam Payne?

by Hedy Phillips

Oh, Liam Payne. The singer and former One Direction star seems to really be going through it lately, and fans are both frustrated and concerned. After what looked to be a cheating scandal last week that resulted in the end of his engagement to model Maya Henry, Payne spiraled further downward by going on Logan Paul’s podcast, Impaulsive, yesterday. As if doing anything with Paul wasn’t already bad enough, the things Payne shared — specifically about One Direction — made it that much worse.

One Direction fans have always assumed that things weren’t peachy every single day while the band was together, but that doesn’t mean we wanted Payne to give us details on the issues they had with each other. Nevertheless, let's get into it.

One of the things Payne shared was his and Louis Tomlinson’s mutual dislike for each other back when the band started in 2010, but this wasn’t new information. Payne told Capital FM in 2019, “When we were in the band it kind of felt like, because he was the oldest and because I’d been singing for quite a bit of time we both got put in a weird position because he was wanting to be the leader, and I was doing my thing and wanted to. So, at first we didn’t get on at all. We absolutely hated each other, it was so funny. Really bad. We hid it well. It was crazy."

He doubled down on this, though, telling Paul, “Louis was wild. And he wanted to be wild. That’s his spirit. He’s my best mate now but in the band, we hated each other. Like, come-to-blows hated each other. It was close.”

Fine, so those two didn’t get along but eventually worked through it. But Tomlinson wasn’t the only one Payne had issues with. Though he didn’t name names while telling this story on the podcast, fans think there’s a good chance this next one is about Harry Styles. “We became really close at points,” Payne said of the whole band. “I think it was well known within the band that I don't like taking shit. At a certain point, I made it very obvious. I’m not going to tell you how. There was one moment when there was an argument backstage and someone, one member in particular, threw me up a wall. So I said to him, ‘If you don’t remove those hands there’s a high likelihood you’ll never use them again.’”

Payne also went after Zayn Malik, in a way that, honestly, has people a bit confused. He very bluntly stated on the podcast, “There’s many reasons why I dislike Zayn, and there’s many reasons why I’ll always, always be on his side.” So do you like him or not? Because he also called out Gigi Hadid’s tweet that labeled Malik a “respectful king,” saying the sentiment didn’t age well.

The fifth member of the band, Niall Horan, seemingly made it out unscathed in Payne’s conversation with Paul. Though technically you could say Styles did as well, since Payne never name-dropped him. The singer did, though, claim that he had the biggest debut of all the band members’ solo careers, with “Strip That Down.” Twitter’s been analyzing that statement since yesterday, poking holes in Payne’s claim.

He also claimed that Simon Cowell, the mastermind behind The X Factor and the band as a whole, told him years ago that One Direction was created for Payne’s benefit. Payne had previously auditioned for the show but was cut early on, with the judges telling him he needed more time to mature. Payne said that Cowell told him when he came back that a group would essentially be built around him for him to become a star. Anyone who watched One Direction on the show could see the potential in that statement being true. Payne was given the majority of the solos and quickly stood out as the frontman. As time wore on, though, the dynamic changed and Styles ended up being put forward as the star.

Where One Direction fans largely take issue is with Payne’s willingness to air the band’s dirty laundry unnecessarily, especially since the rest of the group has gone out of their way to either only share the good memories or simply keep their mouths shut. Both Styles and Horan made appearances on The Late Late Show With James Corden in recent history and ate actual disgusting things to avoid saying anything negative about anyone else in the band.

Payne’s career since the end of One Direction in 2015 has definitely had its ups and downs. Though he’s had a few huge radio hits, including “Strip That Down,” he’s struggled to find his footing as a solo star. His first album, LP1, peaked at No. 111 on the Billboard chart and he has yet to head out on a tour.

And though some fans are starting to give up on him, others are hoping he finds his way. He may enjoy being a crypto bro and doing things like Logan Paul’s podcast, but his dedicated Directioners would rather see him exercising his singing talents in some new music and reconnecting with fans in a more meaningful way.

Photo via Getty/ Dave Hogan