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 is currently signed to Capitol Records as a solo artist but remains a member of One Direction.    

Niall released his debut solo single This Town on 29 September 2016.    
Niall Horan
Full name

Niall James Horan


September 13, 1993 (age 23)


Mullingar, County Westmeath
Republic of Ireland


Nialler, Neil


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-girlfriend)
Melissa Whitelaw (ex-fling)
Selena Gomez (ex-girlfriend)


Early Life

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 begin performing shows 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.

One Direction 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). He told Graham Norton in October: "I went backpacking around the world with my two cousins. I wanted to do it properly so we did it on a budget. All of my friends got to do it when I was traveling the world in a different way, so I thought it’s only fair that I get to do it, too.[4]" Some of the places he visited included Australia, Vietnam and Thailand. In June 2016, Niall also 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. On 20 May 2016, songwriter Wayne Hector revealed he'd been writing songs with Niall. On May 30, singer/songwriter Ruth-Anne Cunningham also revealed she'd written songs with Niall[6]. On 29 September, Niall released his first solo single, This Town, through Capitol Records. The song reached #1 on iTunes in 49 countries and became a top 10 single worldwide. On October 4, Billboard announced Niall was the first artist to debut at #1 on the Social 50 chart, which is powered by data tracked by music analytics company Next Big Sound, ranking the most popular artists on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Wikipedia, Tumblr and Vine[7]. On 20 November, Niall attended the 2016 American Music Awards, where he performed This Town live, and briefly reunited with Zayn Malik for the first time since Malik's 2015 exit from One Direction. On 5 December, Niall published a monthly letter for fans subscribed to his website, where he discussed the production of his album, stating: "...all the music is recorded live with a full band with me singing in the live room, then afterward I'll go and record my guitar parts. I'm currently 8 songs deep and ready for more..."[8]. In, 2017, Niall won his first solo awards, the People's Choice Award for Favourite Breakout Artist[9] and Radio Disney Music Awards Best Male Artist. On May 4, Niall released his second single, Slow Hands. On May 12, Niall premiered a new album track titled On The Loose, live at Channel 993's Summer Kick Off festival, where he also debuted Slow Hands for the first time. Through May, Niall performed at various live events including Wango Tango and Today Show's Summer Concert Series. Niall was interviewed by Billboard and TMRW magazines for their June 2017 issues. Niall performed at Ariana Grande's One Love Manchester benefit concert on June 4, 2017

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.

Knee Injury

Niall struggles with ongoing patellar subluxation, or an unstable kneecap[10]. His first tweet regarding the injury was in October 2011[11]. Niall eventually addressed the injury in One Direction's 2014 autobiography Who We Are, stating he first injured it during The X Factor whilst playing football, and that his doctor knew what was wrong as soon as he looked at Niall's knee[12]. Niall has tweeted numerous times throughout the years about battling with pain symptoms that have often forced him to use crutches or sometimes sit down during concerts[13]. On 6 January 2014, Niall travelled to the United Stated to undergo extensive surgery on his knee[14][15]. On 29 May 2015, Niall described the surgery as "huge, not one I expected...the sort of operation that my knee will never be 100% again"[16]. Fans criticised Niall's label and management team for allegedly delaying the surgery over 12 months, as Niall had first tweeted about needing an operation back in October 2012[17]. Niall was still using crutches when he attended the Brit Awards with One Direction just 13 days after his surgery. Based on further social media postings, Niall was still recovering from his surgery in April 2014, shortly before One Direction's third world tour, Where We Are, began[18]. His knee was injured again during that tour when a fan threw an object on stage, striking Niall's leg[19]. A similar incident occurred the following year during the On The Road Again Tour. Niall still occasionally refers to his struggles on social media, he was initially hesitant to participate as a player in the May 2016 Soccer Aid charity match, stating on Twitter "if I knew for certain my kneecap wouldn't end up in row Z, I'd be out there". He eventually participated with no injuries. In October 2016, Niall posted to Snapchat saying "my knee is in bits" after participating in the Ryder Cup.


Holly Scally


Niall with Holly

Niall dated Holly Scally before auditioning for The X Factor in 2010. 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.'[20]

Melissa Whitelaw


Niall with Melissa

While Niall never spoke publicly about a relationship with Melissa, he was spotted with the Australian 21-year-old numerous times between November 2014 and April 2015. In February 2015, Melissa was spotted with Niall outside Sydney's Allianz Stadium just before the band's first On The Road Again Tour concert. A short video of Niall and Melissa holding hands as they walked through a casino in Australia went viral online later that month. Melissa and Niall were last seen together in London, at a Trekstock charity ball held by Liam in April 2015.[21]. It was widely reported the pair split by June 2015 because of long distance.[22] Melissa interviewed Niall on Australian radio station Fox FM on 13 October 2016[23].

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.[24] 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. In 2016, Goulding was Niall's answer for two romance based questions on two different chat shows. On The Ellen DeGeneres Show, she was the winning result of a game of "Who Would You Rather?" and on The Late Late Show With James Corden, Goulding was Niall's answer when asked "Who would you spend your last night on Earth with?".

Selena Gomez

Tumblr nzbh5rdYrg1uczrlio1 500

Selena with Louis's sister, Lottie, stylist Lou Teasdale, and 1D 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[25]. 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[26][27]. They took pictures together with the same fan on July 13, 2015[28]. Gomez attended One Direction's Apple Music Festival performance in London during September 2015[29]. The pair were seen publicly spending time together in California throughout November and December 2015[30]. During a November 2015 interview, Gomez described Niall as one of her 'best friends'[31]. On December 13 2015, Gomez attended One Direction's final X Factor performance before their hiatus, then attended the afterparty[32]. Fans caught Gomez liking a video titled "Niall is hot", featuring Niall shirtless, on Instagram[33]. 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[34]. 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. On The Late Late Show With James Corden, Corden clarified Niall had dated Gomez.  



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


A tabloid publication claimed to have pictorial and video evidence of Niall taking illegal drugs, alongside pop singers Justin Bieber and Cody Simpson. In one released video, Niall can be seen sitting in a room where drug paraphernalia is visible on the table in front of him. The magazine was eventually made to apologise for the fabrication in 2016, after Niall filed a successful lawsuit against them[35].


On October 13, a pre-recorded appearance from Niall on A League Of Their Own caused controversy within the One Direction fanbase, after Niall joked that he would not trust any of his bandmates around a naked girlfriend, particularly Harry. Fans felt the comment was sexist towards women and offensive toward Harry. While fans addressed both Niall and co-host James Corden, asking for an apology, neither responded.

Niall has previously noted his particular talent for avoiding controversy since becoming famous, especially in comparison to his bandmates. 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.

Untitled Solo Album


  • "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)[37]
  • "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 One Direction's schedule)
  • "I don’t think anyone really gave us, 1D, enough credit. In terms of what we were like in the studio. People just thought ‘Oh, here we go, another manufactured lot that don’t really write their own stuff’, but, people would be wrong if they thought that." (Talking on the Zach Sang Show about songwriting)


  • 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's 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 2015 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.
  • He named "Don't Let Me Down" by The Chainsmokers featuring Daya as one of his favorite songs of 2016[38].
  • In 2017, he became the first Irish person to have 30 million followers on Twitter.
  • He owns three companies: Neon Haze Records Limited, NJH Publishing Limited and Camden Recording Studios. He is also a director for Modest Golf.

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