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Liam Payne

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Liam Payne
Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 1.32.00 PM
Full name

Liam James Payne


August 29, 1993 (age 22)


Wolverhampton, West Midlands
England, United Kingdom


Payno, P Town, Daddy Direction


London, England


Geoff Payne, father
Karen Payne, mother
Nicola Payne, sister
Ruth Payne, sister


Cheryl Cole (girlfriend)
Sophia Smith (ex-girlfriend)
Danielle Peazer (ex-girlfriend)

Liam James Payne (born August 29, 1993) is a member of One Direction along with Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, and Niall Horan.

Early Life

Liam was born in Wolverhampton, West Midlands, England , UK to Geoff and Karen Payne. He has two older sisters, Nicola and Ruth. Liam was born three weeks early, and as a result he had a lot of health problems. He spent the first four years of his life in and out of the hospital having regular tests done. Doctors noticed one of his kidneys was scarred and dysfunctional. To help cope with the pain, he had 32 injections in his arm in the morning and evening as a child. In 2012 Liam found out and shared via Twitter that his kidney was functioning again.[1]

Musical Career

Liam as a kid

Liam as a kid

Early Beginnings

From the age of six, Liam showed signs of singing talent. He would sing for his relatives or pub crowds on karaoke. However, he had his heart set on becoming an Olympic runner, and was a member of the Wolverhampton and Bilston Athletics Club. He would wake up at 5am every day to run five miles before school. His running dream ended at 14 years old when he narrowly missed out on a spot in the England schools team. At that point, he decided to completely focus on singing. He started perfecting his singing skills at the age of 12 when he joined Pink Productions, a performing arts group based in Wolverhampton, that allowed him to showcase his talent in front of a real audience for the first time. Liam completed 11 GCSEs at St Peter’s Collegiate School before moving on to study music technology at Wolverhampton College’s Paget Road campus, which he hoped would help him learn more about the industry.

X Factor

Liam originally auditioned in 2008 for The X Factor's fifth series when he was 14. He reached the judges' houses, but Simon Cowell felt he was too young and asked him to finish his schooling and come back in two years. Liam planned to return the following year, but was unable to audition due to The X Factor raising the application age to 16.
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In 2010, Liam returned and auditioned with "Cry Me a River". He received a standing ovation from the audience and Simon. He got a yes from all four judges. At bootcamp, he sang "Stop Crying Your Heart Out" by Oasis. All three judges liked him, but Simon felt he was a bit one-dimensional. As such, he was eliminated as a solo artist and placed into One Direction. The band placed third but went on to sign a record deal with Simon Cowell's label Syco and released five albums between 2011 and 2015.

Writing and Producing

Since achieving superstardom as part of One Direction, Payne has become a primary songwriter for the band, along with Louis Tomlinson. Payne and Tomlinson co-write the majority of One Direction's songs, and often refer to each other as a writing team. He also co-wrote a song for Cheryl Cole in 2014, titled I Won't Break for her album Only Human. Payne and Tomlinson were named in 2015 as some of SongSplits Top Songwriters in the World. The annual list showcases who in the entertainment industry is the most relevant and valuable, based on airplay, digital sales and web streams. They placed 54th and 55th.[2] In 2014, Liam remixed One Direction's You & I and Steal My Girl. For One Direction's fifth album Made in the A.M., Liam played instruments on Hey Angel, co-produced and played all instruments on Love You Goodbye and remixed Drag Me Down. In 2015, he also co-wrote a song for Irish boy band Hometown called "The Night We Met".

2016 Hiatus/Further Career Developments

In January 2015, Liam began working with American rapper/producer, Juicy J. News of the collaboration was first revealed in February 2015 at the Grammy Awards where Juicy J spoke to red carpet reporters, stating "We got some stuff we're cooking up. Liam's in Australia: We are going to get back in the studio and work on some more. We did about seven records that night. That guy is super talented, super talented, you know what I'm saying? We are definitely working on a lot of different things".[3] Throughout late December 2015 and early January 2016, Juicy shared numerous Snapchat videos of he and Liam in the studio together[4]. Media reports stated Liam raps on at least one of the new songs.[5] On January 17 2016, Liam uploaded an Instagram video of a rap song he wrote. A January 23, 2016 report in tabloid newspaper The Sun claimed Liam had been asked to write songs for Jennifer Lopez's new album. As of February, neither party is yet to confirm the report. On April 20, 2016, a rough version of Liam's collaboration with Juicy J was leaked online. The song was titled 'You' and features Liam singing the chorus. Liam clarified on Twitter that the song was not an official release, stating "Hearing that I've got a single out lol thats a surprise to me that's a one take scratch demo I was writing with someone as an idea for them. Guess I need to guard my projects better ... They don't even let you finish these days. Just to clarify I do not have a single what u just heard is something i get up to on a weekend lol". On May 19, Liam announced via Instagram that he had joined chef Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution campaign, which aims to educate children about healthy eating.

Personal Life


Liam's parents are Geoff and Karen Payne. He has two sisters and three dogs.[6] Liam revealed during Carpool Karaoke on The Late Late Show With James Corden that his parents would be temporarily living with him during One Direction's 2016 hiatus. He kept one of the dogs he and Sophia bought, Watson, after they split. He often posts videos on Instagram of his attempts to train the dog.

Charity Work

Liam has supported numerous good causes and associated himself with many charities over the years including UNICEF, Trekstock, CLIC Sargent, Global Poverty Project, Action1D, Comic Relief, Office Depot's Anti-Bullying Campaign and the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.


Danielle Peazer


Liam with Danielle.

Liam first met Danielle Peazer , a dancer, on The X Factor in 2010. Eventually they became close and soon started dating. They dated from December 2010 to September 2012, after Danielle ended the relationship. They got back together briefly in December 2012, but split for good in April 2013. In December 2015, Danielle tagged Liam in a "best friends" picture on her Instagram.[7] She stated in a February 2016 interview that she and Liam were still close friends. 

Sophia Smith

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Liam and Sophia in April 2015

Liam began dating his old schoolmate, Sophia Smith in June 2013. They made their first public appearance at the premiere of One Direction's concert film: This Is Us in August 2013. Sophia joined Liam on tour throughout 2014 and 2015. Liam confirmed the song Illusion on their fourth album Four, is about his relationship with Sophia. In an interview with Sugarscape, Liam revealed that he bought Sophia a puppy named Ralph for Christmas in 2014.  

In October 2015, People Magazine reported that Liam and Sophia had decided to end their relationship after two and a half years[8].    

Liam confirmed that he and Sophia had split, in an interview with The Sun, "I’m absolutely devastated to have split with Sophia. Being on the tour all this year and being away from her was so hard. We spent so much time apart. But in order to do right by somebody sometimes it’s better not to do what your heart wants, but to do what’s better for them. Right now I’m looking forward to some alone time to figure out who I am and what I want to be." Sophia was the only person Liam followed on Instagram and in October, he unfollowed her. Sophia made her Instagram public soon after the split, revealing romantic messages Liam had left for her over the years. Sophia attended a party with Harry's sister Gemma, Louis's sister Lotttie and stylist Lou Teasdale on December 19, 2015, and partied with Louis's ex-girlfriend Eleanor Calder on February 28, 2016.    

Cheryl Fernandez-Versini

Liam-cheryl selfie

Liam and Cheryl 2016

On February 26, 2016, The Sun reported that Liam and UK pop star Cheryl Fernandez-Versini had begun dating.[9] The pair first met on X Factor back in 2008, when Liam was 14 years old. Cheryl was a judge at the time, as well as when he returned in 2010. Prior to their relationship, Liam wrote a song titled I Won't Break for Cheryl's 2014 album and Cheryl nominated Liam for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in the same year.

On Valentine's Day 2016, Liam posted a picture of a rose on Instagram with the caption, "Happy Valentine's Day baby ..."[10]. The cryptic message had fans wondering who he was he referring to, and The Sun claimed the photo was referencing Cheryl's roses tattoo on her back. On February 24, Liam and Cheryl exchanged flirty Instagram messages to one another before attending the 2016 Brit Awards. The following day Liam deleted all pictures of ex girlfriend, Sophia Smith, from his Instagram. Various media outlets, such as People Magazine and E! News, confirmed the two were dating on February 27, 2016.[11] Liam confirmed the two were an item when he changed his profile picture to a selfie of himself and Cheryl on Instagram on February 28, with a new bio that says, "Happy". He often posts videos where Cheryl can be heard in the background. Many fans believe the relationship to be a publicity stunt, as X Factor contestants and judges often end up conveniently romantically linked to one another right when a new season's promotion is beginning. On April 5, Cheryl confirmed she would not be returning to X Factor for 2016. On May 9, 2016, Liam walked the red carpet with Cheryl at the Global Gift Gala, where she was receiving an award for charity work[12].


Alleged Homophobia

Liam has caused fan backlash several times over allegedly homophobic comments or beliefs, though has consistently denied a homophobic stance. In 2014, Payne tweeted openly homophobic reality TV family the Robertsons, from Duck Dynasty, commending them for their "family values"[13]. Many fans took this as agreement with the family's recently expressed anti-gay and racist stance. Payne reacted angrily to the backlash tweeting "Being a fan of someones show and the way they still hold a family together doesnt mean i am ok with all they say. I can’t do anything without being judged, you try that and write about it. What I gotta do to please you bastards I’m a 20 year old just living life as you did when u were twenty but in extraordinary circumstances. Sick of all this bull il be back again when the freedom of speech law is back and people don’t believe to much into the bulls#!t they read."[14] He was also criticized for being photographed with the family while holding a rifle.

Also in 2014, Liam vehemently denied rumours he appeared in a gay sex tape, stating "I think I'd rather tweet a full frontal than have people look at that." Some took the comment to be homophobic and Liam responded "I'm 100% not homophobic but I'm also 100% not gay. But when somebody says I am, I'm gunna say I'm not, which does not make me a homophobe".

In August 2015, during an On The Road Again Tour concert in the US, Liam angered fans when he introduced Girl Almighty by stating "This is my favorite song off the last album, it's about trying to find that number one woman of your life, which none of you can relate to, because most of you are girls. Except for the boys in here, you know what I'm talking about." Female LGBT fans felt the comment was exclusionary and offensive and spoke against the comments on Twitter. Liam again responded angrily after the show tweeting "I am in no way shape or form homophobic that's a ridiculous thing to say. I'm not here to offend people so take it as you will. So annoying trying your hardest to make people happy in a show and you think about all the notes u tried to hit higher or a little sweeter. I'm sorry to those I offended, really I am, but there's no need for some of the things I'm being called. I'm just here to make people smile. I kinda consider it my job role." The backlash died down quickly and during the UK leg of the tour, whenever Girl Almighty was performed the stage lights became rainbow coloured, widely considered to be an apology of sorts for the mix-up.

In an interview with Attitude Magazine, a publication for gay men, Liam once again angered fans when he mistakenly referred to the use of rainbow flags and signs at One Direction concerts as being about Larry Stylinson, the relationship between Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson. He stated "When the law changed in the U.S. there were loads of rainbow flags flying at our shows but I think that was mainly because of the Louis and Harry thing [that they're secret lovers], which is absolutely nuts and drives me insane."[15] Rainbow Direction, a fan based organisation designed to create safe spaces at concerts for LGBT fans, released a statement of clarification, saying "Since a large part of the rainbows present at each show are brought by Rainbow Direction participants, we want to remind Liam, and Attitude Magazine - which previously reported on the campaign - of their actual purpose. Rainbow Direction decided to encourage people to make their support for fellow fans of all sexualities and gender identities visible by bringing rainbows in all forms to the shows. The aim is to show fans of all sexualities and gender identities that the 1D community welcomes them. As stated on the official website, Rainbow Direction’s actions aren’t directed to any band member, but to fellow fans."[16] Many fans expressed confusion about Payne's comments, after witnessing him live in concert encouraging fans with rainbow signs to hold them up and be "proud", both before and after the interview was published. Some speculated Payne had not in fact made the comments himself, despite them being published under his name. In late 2015, Payne skipped out on a pre-scheduled appearance at the Attitude Awards.

Other Incidents

In early 2014, a picture of Liam standing on a roof ledge of a 34 story apartment building was uploaded to his Twitter. The photo showed the dangerous jump needed to get to the ledge. The photo was deleted the next day due to backlash and Liam issued an apology stating "You may have seen a photo of me today taken on top of a building. I regret being there and having a photo taken. It was a stupid and irresponsible thing to do. I am sorry, and do not endorse any fans trying to repeat this, as it is extremely dangerous."[17]



Up All Night

Take Me Home

Midnight Memories


Made in the A.M.

Perfect EP

  • Drag Me Down (Remix) ft Lunchmoney Lewis - producer
  • "Home" - writing

Other Artists

  • I Won't Break - writing (for Cheryl Cole)
  • The Night We Met - writing (for Hometown)
  • You - (unfinished collaboration with Juicy J)


  • "I've always had a strange fear of spoons." — X Factor Tour Q&A
  • "Have you quite finished?" (Common Quote)
  • "Well, I've got some dogs that I don't Instagram or anything – I've got a big Great Dane and another little one, they're called Watson and Ralph. So the Christmas before last I bought Soph a car because she'd just passed her test, and last year I was like 'Jesus Christ, what do I do this Christmas that out-does a car?' She wanted a dog, so I put a picture of Ralph in a card saying 'Will you be my Mummy', and when she opened it she was like, 'ahhh do I get the dog'?  and I was like 'yeah it's coming in a bit'. Then I pretended to go to the kitchen and get a drink, and I came in with the puppy and it was it the best thing ever." [On the most romantic thing he's ever done]
  • "I can see a lot of people thanking us for staying, but you're the real heroes here. Thanks for not thinking it's finished." (After Zayn's departure from the band)
  • "For the past five years now I've been part of something so special I don't think any of us really understand, something that can mean the world to people and put a smile on the face of our fans even in the darkest times. To a lot of people it's just a bunch of silly kids in a band but to the people involved it means so much more." (After Zayn's departure from the band)
  • "The break will be a lot shorter than what a lot of people think."[18]


  • Niall claims that Liam is the most competitive of the five.
  • Friends is one of his favorite TV shows.
  • Jurassic Park and Harry Potter are some of his favorite films.
  • His favorite Disney movie is Toy Story.
  • His favorite comedian is Michael McIntyre.
  • He recently bought the flying car from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. It's in his back garden.
  • He learned how to beatbox by emulating Justin Timberlake, one of his idols.
  • His favorite colors are red and purple.
  • His zodiac sign is Virgo.
  • He ran track in school.
  • He is a boxer.
  • He has a phobia of spoons. He says it's more of the germs on a spoon that freak him out. Than the actual spoon.
  • Liam’s favourite love song is ‘End of May’ by Michael Bublé.
  • He collects watches. He says that it's a reward to himself for the bands continued success.
  • He says One Direction's song History reminds him of Toy Story's "You Got a Friend In Me".
  • He bought his family a golden lab named Brit.
  • Universal Studios is one of his favorite places.
  • He loves rap and R&B music, often covering songs during interludes at concerts.
  • He broke his arm in 2014, while in Las Vegas.
  • He and Louis did not get along during X Factor, but eventually became close friends.
  • He is an ambassador for Trekstock.
  • He knows how to play the guitar, piano and various other instruments.
  • He is writing a song with his sister Ruth, for her upcoming wedding. He will also perform it.
  • He often favorites or retweets memes/jokes fans post on Twitter.

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