Liam Payne
Full name

Liam James Payne


August 29, 1993 (age 24)


Wolverhampton, West Midlands
England, United Kingdom


Big Payno, P-Town


London, England
Los Angeles


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


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


Syco Music
Capitol Records

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

Liam released his debut single, Strip That Down, on May 19, 2017. His debut album will be released on 14 September, 2018.

Early Life

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[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 nights. Before pursuing music, however, Liam 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 school team. Liam then decided to re-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.
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The X Factor

Liam 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 Producing

Payne 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, 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[2]. 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".

Solo Career

In January 2016, Liam uploaded a video preview of an untitled rap song he wrote, to his Instagram page. He teased another unreleased R&B song on October 29, 2016. On July 21, 2016, Liam announced 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". On July 26, marketing-management company Doyen Global announced Liam as their new client, confirming Liam's departure from Modest Management. On October 17, Republic Records announced they had also signed Liam and would serve as his United States record label[3]. 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"[4]. Throughout 2016, Liam worked on his debut solo album with producers such as Intensi-t, Jean Malvo Baptiste, Pharrell Williams and Sean Garrett[5][6][7][8][9].

On 29 April 2017, rapper Quavo (from hip hop group Migos) confirmed he'd filmed a music video with Liam, stating: "My boy Liam from One Direction. We just shot that crazy vid. Crazy visuals, crazy team. Cool guy, nice guy."[10] In May 2017, Liam began a radio based press tour in North America, which continued for the rest of month. He also played several live music festivals and made celebrity guest appearances on various web series. On 19 May 2017, Liam premiered his debut single "Strip That Down", co-written by Ed Sheeran, and featuring Quavo. Despite mixed reviews, the single was a worldwide success, peaking in the US top 10 and reaching #1 on American pop radio. On 6 July 2017, producer Zedd released "Get Low", with Liam featuring on vocals. Liam's second solo single, Bedroom Floor, co-written by American singer Charlie Puth, was released on October 20, 2017. On 5 January 2018, a collaboration single with UK singer Rita Ora, titled "For You", was released from the Fifty Shades Freed motion picture soundtrack. In March 2018, Liam won the Global Special Award at the 2018 Global Awards, his first award as a solo artist. In April 2018, Liam released "Familiar" with Colombian singer J Balvin.

Personal Life


Liam's parents are Geoff and Karen Payne. He has two sisters, Ruth and Nicola.


Liam owns three dogs, one of which, named Watson, he kept after his 2015 split from ex-girlfriend Sophia Smith[11]. Another, named Loki, was famously referenced at the 2013 MTV Movie Awards by actor Tom Hiddleston (who plays Loki in The Avengers and Thor films)[12].


See more: [1]

Danielle Peazer


Liam with Danielle.

Liam 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.[13] 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 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[14]. In a 2015 interview with Sugarscape, Liam revealed he bought Sophia a puppy named Ralph for Christmas in 2014.  

In October 2015, People Magazine confirimed Liam and Sophia had ended their relationship after two and a half years[15].    


Liam and Cheryl 2016

Liam and Cheryl in May 2016

Liam was in a relationship with British pop singer and The X Factor judge, Cheryl, for two years. They originally met in 2008, during X Factor's fifth season, when Liam was just 14 years old. They remained friends and associates after Liam re-applied for X Factor in 2010, where he was placed into One Direction. In 2014, Liam wrote a song titled "I Won't Break" for Cheryl's 'Only Human' album.

On Valentines Day 2016, Liam posted a picture of a rose on Instagram with the caption, "Happy Valentine's Day baby", sparking rumours he was in a relationship[16]. On February 24, Liam and Cheryl exchanged flirty Instagram messages to one another. The following day, Liam deleted all photos of ex-girlfriend Sophia Smith from his Instagram. Cheryl and Liam were confirmed to be dating on February 27, 2016.[17] Liam walked the red carpet with Cheryl numerous times throughout 2016, though the couple were not often seen together publicly otherwise. The couple welcomed their son, Bear Grey Payne, on 22 March 2017. They have never released video or images of Bear, citing a desire to give him an entirely private childhood.

Liam announced he and Cheryl were separating on 1 July 2018, after 2.5 years together.


Alleged Homophobia

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"[18]. 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."[19] 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 angered fans and readers, when he stated he saw the use of rainbow flags/signs at One Direction concerts as being about Larry Stylinson, a fan-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."[20] 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."[21] 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 a pre-scheduled appearance at the Attitude Awards and has not associated with the magazine since.

Since these incidents, Liam has shown support for the LGBT+ community. In 2016, he expressed condolences on Instagram after the Orlando mass shooting at an LGBT+ nightclub. In 2017, he condemned President Donald Trump's decision to ban transgender people from serving in the US military.

Other Incidents

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."[22]


As of October 2017, Liam has 21 known tattoos.


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

Untitled Debut Album

Other Songs

  • "I Won't Break" — writing (for Cheryl)
  • "The Night We Met" — writing (for Hometown)
  • "Get Low" - vocals (Zedd collaboration)
  • "For You" - vocals (Rita Ora collaboration, for Fifty Shades Freed soundtrack)
  • "Familiar" - vocals, writing (J Balvin collaboration)


  • "I've always had a strange fear of spoons." — X Factor Tour Q&A
  • "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."[23] (2015)
  • "It’s not something that we were given. It’s something we worked our asses off for. The way we went to work every day and the way we travelled the world and the way we conducted our business, with great management at the time and greater minds, it turned out great for everybody. But it was a long five years." (On being in the band and his subsequent financial worth, Rollacoaster Magazine 2017)
  • "I stopped smoking, that’s the best thing ever. Honestly, anyone out there who’s trying to stop smoking, just do it, honestly. I just did cold turkey, I knew my son was coming, and I was like, I’m not gonna be smoking with my son, that’s not right. My life’s not my own anymore, now, it’s not mine to decide, so smoking had to go." (KISSFM interview, 2017)


  • His zodiac sign is Virgo.
  • He is a boxer and can be seen training in a montage for 1D Day.
  • Due to his live performance experience, he was often lead singer in early One Direction songs, and placed at the front of their earlier live performances.
  • Louis and Liam revealed in the 2013 One Direction concert film, This Is Us, that they originally did not get along during 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."[24]
  • 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.
  • He bought the flying car from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
  • 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 collaborated with rapper Juicy J in 2015 and 2016, however the resulting songs have never been released.
  • His favorite One Direction song that he wished had been a single was Once in a Lifetime.
  • He owns Hampton Music Limited, and is a director of Hampton Records Limited.

External Links