One Direction will not be touring for the group’s fifth album and will go on hiatus in March 2016 so that the members can pursue solo projects, according to an exclusive report published by The Sun on Aug. 23, 2015. There is no word on how long the hiatus will last, but it is expected to be for least one year, unnamed sources told the tabloid. The last announced One Direction concert in the foreseeable future is at Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield, England on Oct. 31, 2015. However, One Direction is expected to perform on TV and the Internet to promote the group’s fifth album. These performances are not expected to be a full concert.
The news about One Direction’s hiatus comes one month after One Direction creator Simon Cowell told The Sun that One Direction is going on hiatus in 2016, after the release of the group’s fifth album, which is due out in the last quarter of 2015. The album’s title, track listing and release date are to be announced. Many fans were hoping that One Direction would do a world tour in 2016 for the album, but that tour is definitely not going to happen, sources told The Sun. The decision to not tour for the album was made the weekend of Aug. 14, 2015.
One Direction had a meteoric rise to fame that saw the group become an immediate success and reach heights that most music acts don’t achieve in five years. One Direction was formed in 2010, when Cowell and other “X Factor” decision makers put together five “X Factor” U.K. contestants (Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne and Zayn Malik) who auditioned for the show as solo singers. After One Direction came in third place on the show, Cowell (who was One Direction’s “X Factor” mentor) signed the group to Syco Music, the record company that he co-owns with Sony Music. One Direction has since become the world’s biggest-selling act to emerge from “The X Factor,” with numerous No. 1 hits and sold-out world tours. As of July 2015, One Direction has sold more than 54 million records worldwide, according to Sony Music. One Direction also hold the Guinness World Record for being the only U.K. act to have all of its albums debut at No. 1 in the U.S.
Malik left One Direction in March 2015 while the group was in the midst of the “On the Road Again” tour. A few days after it was announced that Malik left One Direction, he told The Sun that he was working on solo music with producer Naughty Boy.
On July 31, 2015, One Direction released “Drag Me Down,” the group’s first single without former member Malik, and the song immediately debuted at No. 1 on iTunes in more than 80 countries. The song reached No. 1 on the official charts in the U.K., Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, and was a Top 5 hit in several other countries. It was a No. 3 hit in the U.S. “Drag Me Down” is expected to be on One Direction’s fifth album. The song was released one day after it was announced that Malik has signed a solo deal with RCA Records.
One Direction’s “On the Road Again” tour is expected to be the highest-grossing tour of 2015. One Direction’s 2014 “Where We Are” world tour, which also played to sold-out stadiums, was the highest-grossing tour of 2014, with sales totaling more than $290 million, according to Billboard.
An unnamed “insider” told The Sun: “The guys have been together for five years, which is an incredible run for any boy band. They fully deserve to have at least a year to work on their own projects. There is absolutely no bad blood between them and they are all 100 percent behind the decision. It is definitely not a split and they fully intend to get back together at some time in the future. But for now it is the end and they go out on top as the world’s most popular music act.”
The source commented on One Direction’s fifth album: “They believe there are at least three smash hit songs and they’ve got the boys to stay together for a few weeks beyond the end of the year to make the album a huge success. But there was a meeting recently where it was agreed there would be no tour for the album. That was a big call because it means come March, Harry, Liam, Louis and Niall will be free agents for the first time in five years.”
The insider also said, “This was the plan with or without Zayn. In fact, the band have been making amazing music and been incredibly happy without Zayn. Of course they would have preferred that he had stayed in the band, but they would have taken this extended hiatus even if he hadn’t left.”
According to The Sun, Styles is expected to sign a solo deal with Sony Music and is likely to pursue an acting career. Many people are predicting that he will have a career similar to that of Justin Timberlake, who first found fame as a member of the boy band *NSYNC. Horan (who also plays guitar) will collaborate with other artists and will also release music as a solo artist. Payne will likely work behind the scenes as a songwriter and producer.
Tomlinson, who has shown an interest in investing in soccer teams, is “setting up his own record company within Syco and is likely to take a role on next year’s ‘X Factor,'” according to The Sun. There has been ongoing speculation that Tomlinson could become a judge on “The X Factor” U.K. in 2016. Tomlinson is also expecting a child in early 2016, as the result of a fling he had with Los Angeles-based stylist Briana Jungwirth. Payne and Tomlinson also have a steady stream of income from their controlling business interest in 5 Seconds of Summer, the Australian pop/rock band that toured with One Direction in 2013 and 2014 and has since gone on to have a string of hits worldwide.
Although the members of One Direction denied over the years that they were going solo, the history of all mega-successful boy bands shows that within five years of the group releasing its first album, at least one original member of the group quits and goes solo. One Direction has now joined that list of boy bands whose original lineup couldn’t reach the 10-year mark without a breakup or an original member quitting. It remains to be seen if this hiatus for One Direction will be temporary (like Take That or Backstreet Boys) or permanent (like *NSYNC or Westlife).