Which One Direction Member Has the Most Successful Solo Career?

While One Direction was a global phenomenon, the members have gone on to have their own solo careers after the band’s hiatus in 2015. Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Niall Horan, Liam Payne, and Zayn Malik have all at least put out one album following the success of One Direction. But who from One Direction is most successful? Take a look at their album sales, tour revenues, and chart placements to see how each one has compared against the others.

One Direction pose together in 2014
One Direction | Steve Granitz/WireImage

Who has sold the most albums out of the One Direction members?

While Styles, Horan, and Malik have a leg up on Payne and Tomlinson for releasing more than one album, all five of the men have done well in album sales. To compare their first albums at the time right after Tomlinson released Walls in early 2020, Styles definitely took the lead. His album Harry Styles, which came out in 2017, sold more than 230,000 units by February 2020, per Goat.

At that time, Styles’ sales were almost 100,00 more than Malik’s Mind of Mine, which had been released in 2016, a year after he left One Direction. Now, Styles has sold even more albums, especially with the release of his second, Fine Line, in 2019.

Who from One Direction made the most in touring revenue?

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Styles’ tour, which went from 2017 to 2018 (Harry Styles: Live on Tour) grossed more than $62 million, per Forbes. Horan’s Flicker World Tour, which he performed in 2018, made $24.7 million, per Pollstar.

While Payne, Tomlinson, and Malik have all released solo albums, they have yet to tour their music worldwide like their One Direction counterparts have.

How has each One Direction member performed on the charts?

Both Styles and Malik had No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Styles peaked at No. 1 with “Watermelon Sugar” on August 14, 2020. Malik peaked at No. 1 for “Pillowtalk” on Feb. 19, 2016. All One Direction members had at least 2 songs on that chart, with Styles leading the most chart-topping hits with 9 songs.

For the Billboard 200 chart, Styles had 2 No. 1 hits – with his albums Harry Styles and Fine Line. Malik’s Mind of Mine hit No. 1 on the chart, as did Horan’s Flicker.

Tomlinson recently signed with new label BMG, indicating another album in the near future. His first album, Walls, came out right before the coronavirus pandemic. And Horan’s Heartbreak Weather was released right in the middle of it, in March 2020. Tomlinson released new tour dates for his rescheduled tour in May 2021, showing a promising future for his live shows.

While each One Direction member has gone on to do their own solo careers — it’s true that they’re more powerful together. The band had 29 songs on the Billboard Hot 100, 4 No. 1 hits on the Billboard 200, and made more than $600 million in touring revenue.

Even though the band members have spoken out against their time in the band as being unsustainable, it’s possible that in the future things could be different. We’ll still be waiting on that reunion album and tour.