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Niall Horan

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Niall Horan
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Full name

Niall James Horan


September 13, 1993 (age 23)


Mullingar, County Westmeath
Republic of Ireland


Nialler, Irish leprechaun


Bobby Horan, father
Maura Gallagher, mother
Chris Gallagher, stepfather
Greg Horan, brother
Denise Horan, sister-in-law
Theo Horan, nephew


Holly Scally (ex-girlfriend)
Ellie Goulding (ex-fling)
Melissa Whitelaw (ex-fling)
Selena Gomez (rumored fling)
Celine Helene Vandycke (rumored girlfriend)

Niall James Horan[1] (born September 13, 1993) is a member of One Direction along with Harry Styles, Liam Payne, and Louis Tomlinson. He is the only Irish member of the band. He released his debut solo single This Town on 29 September 2016.    

Early Life


Niall as a kid.

Niall Horan was born in Mullingar, County Westmeath, Ireland. Niall was a pupil at Coláiste Mhuire, Mullingar, a boys Christian Brothers school. He achieved 3 B's, 3 C's and 3 D's in his Junior Certificate[2]. He began playing guitar at eleven years old, and would eventually perform around his homeland, including as a support act for Lloyd Daniels.

Musical Career

Main article: One Direction History
One Direction's Niall Horan Full Audition03:14

One Direction's Niall Horan Full Audition

Niall Horan's audition "So Sick"

In 2010, at sixteen years old, Niall auditioned for the seventh series of The X Factor UK in Dublin.[3] He sang 'So Sick' by Ne-Yo, and received mixed comments from the judges, who felt he was acceptable, but overconfident in his vocal abilities. Louis Walsh was in his favor, but Cheryl Cole, and guest judge Katy Perry, felt he wasn't ready. Simon voted yes, Cheryl voted no and Louis decided yes, leaving Niall's fate up to Katy. She deliberated, before eventually voting yes.

At bootcamp, Niall sang "Champagne Supernova", but failed to qualify. Along with Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, and Zayn Malik, Niall was placed into the "Groups" category, in what would become One Direction, instead of being eliminated from the series. Niall, along with Louis, was not given regular solos to perform during the group's live weekly X Factor performances. One Direction qualified to the grand finale episode, where they ended in third place.

Immediately following the conclusion of The X Factor, One Direction signed a million dollar recording contract with Sony subsidiary Syco Music. The band released their first studio album, Up All Nightwhich went #1 worldwide, in November 2011. They also toured with JLS and embarked on their first world tour. In November 2012, almost exactly one year later, One Direction released their second studio album, Take Me Home. With the release of this album, fans became frustrated with Niall's lack of solos, starting a Twitter hashtag titled #LetNiallSing. As of the band's third and fourth albums - Midnight Memories and FOUR - Niall has been featured more prominently as a lead vocalist, and has his own solos on each song. On Four, he sang a number of opening verses on his own.

In June 2015, Niall told fans on Twitter he had been contributing a lot of songwriting to the band's fifth album, Made in the A.M.. He said was unable to contribute more to 2014's Four because of his knee reconstruction surgery, which he was recovering from during the primary songwriting stage for that album. In November 2015, One Direction released Made in the A.M., which featured two songs written primarily by Niall, Never Enough and Temporary Fix. He also co-wrote Wolves with Liam, and A.M. with the entire group.

2016 Hiatus/Solo Debut & Further Career Developments

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Niall travelled the world in the first three months of One Direction's hiatus (Jan-March 2016). Some of the places he visited included Australia, Vietnam and Thailand. Upon returning, he shared pictures of his travels on Instagram. One photograph, of Niall on Maya Bay Beach (right), received a million likes within 24 hours[4]. In June 2016, Niall travelled to Portugal.


On February 3, it was announced Niall was opening a golfing management company with One Direction's management team, Modest. The company is called Modest!Golf and aims to encourage more younger players to take up the sport. On March 21 2016, Niall announced a May 29 charity golfing event, in collaboration with professional golfer Justin Rose[5]. The event raised over £800,000 ($1,600,000 USD) for cancer research. In April 2016, Niall attended the Augusta Masters with pop singer Justin Timberlake and Justin Rose. On May 9, 2016, Soccer Aid announced Niall had been booked as Assistant Manager on the Rest Of The World team for the All Stars charity match on June 5. The team opposed England, which fellow bandmate Louis played for. On May 17 and 18, Niall attended the Irish Pro-Am golfing event and, on May 25, he attended the BMW PGA Championship. In July, Niall attended various Wimbledon tennis matches. On July 27, Niall officially debuted Modest!Golf at the Northern Ireland Open Pro-Am. On August 20, Niall attended the UFC 202 Conor McGregor fight in Las Vegas. In September, Niall participated in the Ryder Cup.

Solo Music

Niall was the first member of One Direction to release solo music during the band's hiatus. From early 2016 onward, singer/songwriter Shawn Mendes revealed he and Niall were good friends and keen to collaborate. On May 20, songwriter Wayne Hector revealed he'd been writing songs with Niall. On May 21, several songs co-written by Niall were registered to ASCAP, sparking media speculation of a solo career in the works[6]. On May 30, singer/songwriter Ruth-Anne Cunningham revealed she'd written songs with Niall, stating "He is a really talented writer. We wrote a really good tune. We're going to do more together. [One Direction] are all great guys. They are very down to earth for everything that they have been through. If he was doing a solo album, I would definitely write for him. He should do a solo album"[7] On May 31, tabloid The Sun presented unconfirmed reports that Niall would sign with Syco as a solo artist, and could have a single out by next year[8]. Various videos of Niall in recording studios were uploaded to the social media accounts of the musicians accompanying him throughout June, July and August of 2016. On September 3, reports surfaced that Niall would be signing a new solo record deal with Universal Music[9]. On 29 September, Niall released his first solo single, This Town, through Capitol Records. The song went to #1 on iTunes in 49 countries.

Other Appearances

On June 9, Niall attended the KP24 Foundation Gala Dinner to raise awareness for Ocumel UK. Niall attended Olivier Spencer's runway fashion show on June 10. From June 24, Niall attended UK music festival Glastonbury. In July, Niall attended the British Summertime festival, alongside rumoured girlfriend Celine. Niall attended Nick Jonas and Demi Lovato's joint Future Now tour on August 17. The three singers exchanged friendly tweets after the show. On August 18, Niall attended upcoming band High Tyde's Hotel Cafe concert, along with Louis. Niall attended Coldplay's A Head Full Of Dreams Tour on August 21, along with James Corden and Ben Winston.

Personal Life


Niall's parents are Bobby Horan and Maura Gallagher. They divorced when he was five and his mother remarried. Niall has one older brother, Greg Horan. Greg has often tweeted about feeling estranged from Niall since his rise to fame, hinting at ongoing familial tension. Niall has spoken about their volatile early relationship, as Greg struggled to babysit Niall while their parents were both working full time. His son, Theo, is Niall's nephew. Niall has eight cousins, some of whom live in Australia. Niall revealed in an October 2015 solo radio interview that he was living with one of his cousins, Willie.


Holly Scally


Niall with Holly

Niall dated Holly Scally before auditioning for The X Factor in 2010. At the time, he stated they'd be together forever. They broke up in 2012 due to his music career keeping them apart. Scally told media "We were apart for four weeks, which felt really long because we used to see each other all the time. One day Niall called and said "I think we should finish because I never see you." I said "Yeah, I know. I understand". So it's cool. I think he felt bad because he kept saying "I'm so sorry." I tried to sound like it was no big deal but it was a bit sad for me. I liked him more than I'd let on. I missed him but we still talked on Skype and we met up whenever he was back.'[10]

Melissa Whitelaw


Niall with Melissa

While Niall never spoke publicly about Melissa, he was spotted with the Australian 21-year-old numerous times between November 2014 and April 2015. Niall also spent most of December 2014 and January 2015 in Australia, before One Direction's On The Road Again world tour began in Sydney in February 2015. It's believed he may have been spending time there with Whitelaw, particularly as she was spotted with him outside Sydney's Allianz Stadium just before the band's first concert. A short video spread across social media of Niall and Melissa holding hands as they walked through a casino in Australia. Melissa and Niall were last seen together in London, at a Trekstock charity ball held by Liam in April 2015.[11]. It was widely reported the pair had split by June 2015 because of long distance.[12]

Ellie Goulding


Niall and Ellie in December 2015

In 2014, Ed Sheeran released a song called "Don't", which media reported was be about UK singer Ellie Goulding, Ed's supposed girlfriend at the time, and her alleged affair with Niall. Sheeran and Goulding both denied the claims, with Sheeran explaining it was a rumour that got out of hand: "I never let it slip. What happened was one of the newspapers in England just printed that it was confirmed when it never was. We got in touch, and they took the story down. But obviously the damage had already been done by that point because every other newspaper picked up on it. So I never actually confirmed it". Niall has never addressed the rumours. In June 2015, Goulding confirmed she had been on dates with Niall but denied ever dating Sheeran, stating "I did go on a few dates with Niall but I was never in a relationship with Ed. I have absolutely no idea where that came from and why it was turned into such a big thing. I find it so frustrating that female musicians are constantly defined by the men they have or haven't dated." Niall has remained friends with both Sheeran and Goulding.[13] In June 2016, Niall uploaded a photograph after attending one of Ellie's concerts, with the caption "Yesterday I watched my best friend play main stage at Glastonbury. She killed it as always, so happy for her". Goulding responded with a love heart emoji.

Selena Gomez (Speculative)

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Selena with One Direction staff members before the band's final X Factor performance on December 13, 2015

In January 2014, a fan met Niall in Denver as he recovered from knee surgery. They left a note for him stating "Hope everything works out with Selena". She was later photographed in Denver with another fan[14]. They spent time together publicly in May and August 2014, where fans took photos of them attending a concert together and took photos with them at a Denver restaurant[15][16]. They took pictures together with the same fan on July 13, 2015[17]. Gomez attended One Direction's Apple Music Festival performance in London during September 2015[18]. The pair were seen publicly spending time together in California throughout November and December 2015[19]. During a November 2015 interview, Gomez described Niall as one of her 'best friends'[20]. On December 13 2015, Gomez attended One Direction's final X Factor performance before their hiatus, then attended the afterparty[21]. Fans caught Gomez liking a video titled "Niall is hot", featuring Niall shirtless, on Instagram[22]. On December 9, 2015, Selena commented on Instagram that she preferred One Direction's album Made in the A.M. over ex-boyfriend Justin Bieber's album Purpose[23]. On December 6, 2015, One Direction filmed a Carpool Karaoke segment for The Late Late Show With James Corden. During the car ride, James asked Niall who he would Sleep With, Marry or Go On A Cruise With out of US comedian Tina Fey, US pop star Demi Lovato, and Selena Gomez. Niall responded that he would sleep with Tina, go on a cruise with Demi and marry Selena. 

Celine Helene Vandycke (Rumored)

Niall and Celine July 2016

Niall appears to have been dating Belgian student Celine Helene Vandycke. Photographs of them kissing at the British Summertime Festival were published in media outlets worldwide on July 11, 2016 [24]. The following night they were photographed leaving a nightclub. She also vacationed with him in Portugal in June. On July 21, conflicting reports surfaced saying Celine had uploaded a photograph of her with another man to her Instagram, specifying him as her boyfriend. Niall and Celine have not confirmed or denied a relationship and have not been seen together since July.


In 2012, Niall was mobbed by several fans while leaving an airport. He expressed frustration with them and called them a "shower of c**ts". He apologized for his language on Twitter later that day, but also asked fans not to stalk him.

In 2015, a tabloid publication claimed to have pictorial and video evidence of Niall taking drugs, along with singers Justin Bieber and Cody Simpson. The magazine was eventually made to apologise for the fabrication in 2016, after Niall filed a successful lawsuit against them[25]

Niall has commented on his particular talent for avoiding controversy since becoming famous, especially in comparison to his band-mates. He has said that because he tries to lead a normal life, as a result he does not court the same amount of publicity as the rest of the band seems to.


Credits adapted from album liner notes

Up All Night

Take Me Home

Midnight Memories


Made in the A.M.


  • "I want to have sold out arenas, an album." (X Factor Audition goals)
  • ”We figured out recently, that - it’s not a conscious decision- but we don’t really see each other on our time off, do we?” (A Current Affair Australia interview, 2014)
  • "5 years, literally sittin' down talking about last night. Insane! I remember the day we were put together like it was yesterday! You guys have changed our lives and we all love you so much! Best fans on the planet, easy! Thanks to the boys too, we've seen and done some incredible things together, love you all!" (Commemorating the band's fifth year anniversary on Twitter)[27]
  • "They pay my bills, not you" (To a paparazzo bothering fans)
  • "I think Where Do Broken Hearts Go is perfect, what we should've done a long time ago" (FOUR Hangout, 2014)
  • "We were really really really overworked" (Talking in 2015 about X Factor)


  • He is a natural brunette.
  • His name is pronounced "Nigh-all". Due to the unique spelling, many errors have led to numerous nicknames for Niall, including "Neil" and "Nialler".
  • His star sign is Virgo.
  • Like Liam, his middle name is James.
  • He is left handed.
  • He had a twin, but it died during pregnancy.
  • He is claustrophobic, his phobia can be seen in the Where We Are concert film behind the scenes segment, when the band is forced to hide in the back of a windowless van. He has also spoken about dealing with anxiety and low self esteem.
  • He is the only band member who doesn't have tattoos.
  • During "Act My Age" on the On The Road Again Tour, the stage lights turned green, white and red to represent the Irish flag.
  • His favorite song from the band's third studio album, Midnight Memories, is Don't Forget Where You Belong, his favorite song from the band's fourth studio album, Four, is Where Do Broken Hearts Go, and his favorite song from the band's fifth studio album, Made in the A.M., is Never Enough.
  • For the United Kingdom's 2016 referendum vote regarding separating from the European Union, Niall announced he was voting to remain a part of the EU. He expressed disappointment with the result to leave the EU on Twitter the following day.
  • Due to the lack of controversies surrounding Niall, fans have dubbed him the "least problematic member of One Direction".

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