Liam James Payne
August 29, 1993 (age 23)
Wolverhampton, West Midlands
Daddy Direction, Big Payno
Geoff Payne, father
Liam was born in Wolverhampton, West Midlands, England, to Geoff and Karen Payne. Liam was born three weeks early, and, as a result suffered many health problems as an infant. He spent the first four years of his life in and out of hospital, needing regular testing. Doctors eventually noticed one of his kidneys was scarred and dysfunctional. To help cope with the pain, Liam had 32 injections in his arm every day, as a child. In 2012, Liam found out, and shared with fans via Twitter, that his kidney was fully functioning again.
From the age of six, Liam showed signs of singing talent. He would sing for his relatives or pub crowds on karaoke nights. Before music, however, Liam was focused on becoming an Olympic runner, joining both the Wolverhampton and Bilston Athletics Club. He trained at 5am every day, running 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. Liam then decided to focus on music. He joined Pink Productions, a performing arts group based in Wolverhampton, at age twelve. This allowed him to begin performing in front of live audiences for the first time. Liam completed 11 GCSEs at St Peter’s Collegiate School before studying music technology at Wolverhampton College’s Paget Road campus.
The X FactorLiam originally auditioned for The X Factor's fifth series in 2008, when he was fourteen years old. He was eliminated at the judges' houses, where Simon Cowell decided Liam was too young to continue. Cowell requested for Liam to come back in two years, after completing his schooling. Liam planned to return the following year, but was unable to audition due to X Factor raising the application age to 16.
In 2010, Liam returned to The X Factor's seventh season, auditioning with "Cry Me a River" by Arthur Hamilton. He received a standing ovation from the audience, and from Simon, before scoring a "yes" from all four judges. At bootcamp, he sang "Stop Crying Your Heart Out" by Oasis. All three judges were impressed, but Simon felt he was "one-dimensional". As such, he was eliminated as a solo artist, then placed into One Direction. The band placed third, but went on to sign a record deal with Simon Cowell's label Syco Music, and released five best-selling albums between 2011 and 2015.
Writing and ProducingPayne and Tomlinson co-wrote the majority of One Direction's songs, often referring to each other as a writing team. In 2014, Payne co-wrote a song for Cheryl Cole, titled "I Won't Break", featured on her fourth album Only Human. In the same year, Liam remixed One Direction's "You & I" and "Steal My Girl". Payne and Tomlinson were named in 2015 as some of Song Splits 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. 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, Liam co-wrote a song for Irish boy band Hometown called "The Night We Met".
2016: 1D Hiatus/Solo Record Deal/New Representation
In January 2015, Liam began working with American rapper/producer, Juicy J. Juicy J confirmed the collaboration the following month. Through late December 2015 and early January 2016, Juicy shared Snapchat videos of he and Liam in the studio together again. On September 16 2016, producer TM88 confirmed Liam would feature on Juicy J's 'Rubba Band Business' album.
Solo MusicOn January 17, 2016, Liam uploaded a video on his official Instagram, previewing a rap song he wrote. On April 20, a demo titled ''You'', leaked online. Liam clarified on Twitter that the song was not official, stating "..to clarify I do not have a single what u just heard is something i get up to on a weekend lol. On September 15 2016, Liam posted a photo of himself in a recording studio, with the caption "Hard at work", on Instagram. Capitol Records retweeted the photo to their official Twitter account with the caption "Exciting things are on their way". On the same day, singer/songwriter/producer Intensi-t also told fans he'd heard some of Liam's new work, stating "It's amazing, honestly!" On September 21, Liam liked a tweet saying "Liam bout to drop that R&B album" and tweeted about meeting legendary R&B singer Charlie Wilson. On the same day, he was photographed working alongside R&B artist Jean Malvo Baptiste. On October 7, Liam posted a photo of himself with Pharrell Williams to Instagram, captioned "Great few days with Pharrell pleasure working with you as always"
Solo Record Deals/New Representation
On July 21, 2016, Liam announced on Twitter and Instagram that he had signed a solo deal with Capitol Records. He tweeted "Happy to have signed to @CapitolUK. They have an amazing history of artists, I hope I can follow in their footsteps." He clarified he was not leaving One Direction, saying "One direction will always be my home and family but I'm very excited to see what this chapter brings." Liam's sister, Ruth, also confirmed on her Twitter that "it would have been a shame for him not to release music for 2 years!" then told a fan checking if he was still in the band "[yeah], im not sure how a solo career in the band 'hiatus' would affect membership ha". Liam's new label said of the deal "Capitol Records UK are incredibly excited to be working with Liam. It’s not often you get the chance to sign such a talented and ambitious 22-year-old who has already conquered the world.” Liam stated "I’m really happy to have signed to such a prestigious label as Capitol Records UK. Capitol Records has an amazing history stretching right back before even Frank Sinatra and I’m really looking forward to becoming part of their story." On July 26, Doyen Global welcomed Liam to their management/marketing family as a new client, confirming that, as of July 2016, Liam is no longer associated with Syco Music nor Modest Management. On October 17, Republic Records announced they had also signed Liam and would serve as his United States record label. Liam confirmed the deal, tweeting "Amazing to have signed to @RepublicRecords I am celebrating as I tweet thank you so much for accepting me to your roster of amazing artists".
Liam's parents are Geoff and Karen Payne, and he has has two sisters, Ruth and Nicola. Liam told James Corden during a December 2015 taping of The Late Late Show that his parents would be temporarily living with him during One Direction's 2016 hiatus. In June 2016, Liam attended his sister Ruth's wedding and performed an original song at the reception.
Liam owns three dogs, one of which, named Watson, he kept after his 2015 split from ex-girlfriend Sophia Smith. Another, named Loki, was famously referenced at the 2013 MTV Movie Awards by actor Tom Hiddleston (who plays Loki in The Avengers and Thor).
Liam has supported numerous 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 PeazerLiam met Danielle Peazer, a dancer, on The X Factor in 2010. They dated from April 2011 to September 2012, reunited briefly again in December 2012, but split permanently in April 2013. In December 2015, Danielle tagged Liam in a "best friends" picture on Instagram. She stated in a February 2016 interview that she and Liam were still close friends.
Sophia SmithLiam dated his former schoolmate, Sophia Smith, from 2013 to 2015. They made their first public appearance as a couple at the premiere of One Direction's concert film: This Is Us in August 2013. Liam confirmed the song "Illusion", from One Direction's fourth album Four, was written about his relationship with Sophia. In a 2015 interview with Sugarscape, Liam revealed 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. Liam confirmed the split to tabloid The Sun stating "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."
On February 26, 2016, The Sun reported Liam had begun dating UK pop star Cheryl Fernandez-Versini. The pair met in 2008, on X Factor, when Liam was 14 years old, and again in 2010, when Liam auditioned a second time, aged 16. in 2014, Liam wrote a song titled "I Won't Break" for Cheryl's 'Only Human' album. Cheryl then nominated Liam to participate in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge later that year.
On Valentines Day 2016, Liam posted a picture of a rose on Instagram with the caption, "Happy Valentine's Day baby ...". On February 24, Liam and Cheryl exchanged flirty Instagram messages to one another before attending the 2016 Brit Awards separately. The following day, Liam deleted all pictures of ex Sophia Smith from his Instagram. Various media outlets, such as People Magazine and E! News, confirmed the two were dating on February 27, 2016. Liam confirmed by changing his Instagram profile picture to a selfie of he and Cheryl on February 28, along with a new bio caption; "Happy". Liam walked the red carpet with Cheryl on May 9, at the Global Gift Gala, where she was receiving an award for charity work, and again on May 13 at the Cannes Film Festival.
Liam received backlash several times over allegedly homophobic comments or beliefs, though he has consistently denied a homophobic stance. In 2014, Payne tweeted to openly homophobic reality TV family the Robertsons, from US reality TV show Duck Dynasty, commending them for their "family values". Many took this as agreement with the family's homophobic 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." He was also criticized for being photographed with the family while holding a rifle.
Later that year, Liam 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 responded angrily 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." During the subsequent UK leg of the tour, the stage lights became rainbow colored during "Girl Almighty", which was interpreted as an apology of sorts for the blunder.
In a 2015 interview with Attitude Magazine, a publication for gay men, Liam once again angered fans and readers, when he stated the use of rainbow flags and signs at One Direction concerts were about Larry Stylinson, the rumored relationship between Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson. He claimed "When the law changed in the U.S. [legalizing same-sex marriage] 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." 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." Many fans expressed confusion about Payne's comments, after previously witnessing him 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, despite them being published under his name, and that they were PR comments designed to discourage fans from speculating about Harry and Louis. Payne briefly addressed the controversy on Twitter, expressing disappointment in the negative reaction. In late 2015, Payne skipped out on a pre-scheduled appearance at the Attitude Awards and has not associated with the magazine since.
On June 13, 2016, following a terrorist attack on an LGBT+ nightclub in the United States, which killed 49 people, Liam posted a rainbow flag on his Instagram with the caption "My thoughts and prayers go out to Orlando and the lgbt community today, such a senseless tragedy #prayfororlando".
In early 2014, a picture of Liam standing on a roof ledge of a 34 story 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 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."
TattoosAs of September 2016, Liam has 17 tattoos.
- "Last First Kiss" — writing
- "Back For You" — writing
- "Summer Love" — writing
- "Still The One" — writing
- "Irresistible" — writing
- "Right Now" — writing
- "Does He Know" — writing
- "Diana" — writing
- "Midnight Memories (song)" — writing
- "Little Black Dress" — writing
- "Better Than Words" — writing
- "Little White Lies" — writing
- "Through The Dark" — writing
- "Story of My Life" — writing
- You And I (Big Payno Remix) — producer
- "Steal My Girl" — writing
- "Night Changes" — writing
- "Ready To Run" — writing
- "Fool's Gold" — writing
- "No Control" — writing
- "Fireproof" — writing
- "Spaces" — writing
- "Clouds" — writing
- "Change Your Ticket" — writing
- "Illusion" — writing
- Steal My Girl (Big Payno Remix) — producer
- "End Of The Day" — writing
- "Long Way Down" — writing
- "What a Feeling" — writing
- "History" — writing
- "Wolves" — writing
- "A.M." — writing
- "Love You Goodbye" — producer
- "Hey Angel" — co-producer, instruments
- Drag Me Down (Remix) ft Lunchmoney Lewis — producer
- "Home" — writing
- "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)
- "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."
- Liam has been named as the most competitive member of One Direction.
- Louis and Liam revealed in the 2013 One Direction concert film, This Is Us, that they originally did not get along on The X Factor, due to their different personalities.
- His four chevrons tattoo represent each other member of One Direction.
- In 2013, Liam helped save friend Andy Samuels after he caught alight while trying to fill a patio heater with gas. Samuels told The Mirror "I can still see Liam trying to put out the flames with his hands. I was set completely on fire – terror is the only word fit to describe what I was feeling."
- He bought the flying car from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
- His zodiac sign is Virgo.
- He is a boxer and can be seen training in a montage for 1D Day.
- One Direction's song "History" reminds him of Toy Story's "You Got a Friend In Me".
- He broke his arm in 2014 while in Las Vegas.
- He plays guitar, keyboard and piano, and has produced songs for One Direction.
- He appears to have a private Snapchat.
- ↑ @Real_Liam_Payne. Twitter. Announcing he now has two functioning kidneys. August 7, 2012.
- ↑ SS100 List
- ↑ Liam's solo song
- ↑ Juicy J
- ↑ TM88 Tweet
- ↑ Liam 'Hard at Work'
- ↑ Intensi-t Tweet
- ↑ Charlie Wilson tweet
- ↑ September 21 2016
- ↑ Liam with Pharrell 2016
- ↑ Roo's Tweet
- ↑ Liam and Capitol Records statement on solo deal
- ↑ Liam Payne Republic Records Deal Announced
- ↑ Liam's Republic Records Tweet
- ↑ One Direction 'Between Us' Fragrance Quiz
- ↑ Tom Hiddleston Shout-Out To Liam's Dog
- ↑ Danielle's Instagram
- ↑ NIALL HORAN WROTE NEW ONE DIRECTION 'FOUR' ALBUM TRACK 'ILLUSION' ABOUT LIAM PAYNE'S GIRLFRIEND SOPHIA SMITH: 'IT'S A BIT WEIRD'
- ↑ People Magazine Article
- ↑ Liam and Cheryl are secret lovers
- ↑ Liam's Valentine's Day photo
- ↑ Liam and Cheryl dating
- ↑ Liam and Cheryl red carpet
- ↑ Liam's tweet
- ↑ Liam Payne Duck Dynasty Drama
- ↑ Liam Payne Attitude
- ↑ Rainbow Direction Statement
- ↑ Building Incident
- ↑ Liam on the break
- ↑ How Liam Payne Saved My Life