Instead of staying with Cowell’s Syco label – like 1D – Niall, 22, has hitched up with Universal Music. A US source exclusively told the Daily Star Sunday:
“This will come as a real blow to Cowell who has been talking to Niall for months, wanting him to sign a deal with his label Syco. He made a number of big money offers to try and persuade Niall to sign up but, in the end, Universal came in and put even more money on the table. They’re chuffed to have got one over on Cowell and have taken one of 1D.”
Universal subsidiary label Capitol had been expecting to do a solo deal with Harry Styles, 22. But when Harry decided to stay with Sony, they turned their attentions to other members of the band, who finished third on Cowell’s X Factor in 2010. Daily Star source said:
“Universal said they would pay Niall whatever it took. They heard his solo music and they all think it’s got good potential. They really had to throw the dollars at him but they think it’s worth it.”
Cowell, 56, is bound to be upset about Niall leaving – especially as he had said earlier in the summer he hoped to make an announcement about Niall making a deal with Syco “soon”.
Just weeks ago, the X Factor boss said:
“We are expecting to announce something soon with Niall. I’ve always known he’s loyal.”
Daily Star source continued:
“Cowell will be unhappy about it. But Niall’s thrilled. He’s been telling pals he is really excited about his new music and this solo deal. It’s anyone’s guess where this decision leaves One Direction now.”
Simon Cowell is fully supportive of the One Direction boys going solo, but after helping launch the singers into superstardom, the X Factor and America’s Got Talent judge also wishes they would all stay close by.
“I think they’re all gonna do great,” he told PEOPLE Tuesday night about Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson on the red carpet at an America’s Got Talent taping. “I worked with these guys for six years, so I always hoped they would all stay within what I call the Sony family, but I think only one won’t.”
Noting that Payne recently signed a solo deal with Universal Music (One Direction is signed with Cowell’s Syco Music, which is owned by Sony), Cowell added that Horan may also soon ink a solo deal.
“Niall is the most loyal,” he said. “We are expecting to announce something soon with him. I’ve always known he’s loyal.”
While Cowell also “always knew” the boys would try creating successful careers outside of One Direction, he had hoped “that everyone would do it with us, but one flew out of the nest.”
After the singers announced they would be taking a hiatus last year, Cowell acknowledged the singers had “100 percent” been overworked since being discovered on The X Factor in 2010.
“Even though they were young, that was a grueling schedule, and after a while I could see they were exhausted,” he said at the time. “Having a year off is going to be a healthy thing.”
Horan’s fledgling solo career may get a helping hand from fellow British music titan, John Newman. The “Olé” singer told PEOPLE that he’s ear-marking some of his new compositions for Horan.
“I was having a text back and forth with Niall Horan the other night about some ideas, which is cool.”
Harry Styles is making a solo album, it was reported late Thursday, but that doesn’t mean he’s quitting One Direction. Gossip Cop has exclusively learned that the singer’s new record contract doesn’t mark the end of the boy band, despite speculation on social media and by various outlets.
Sources tell Billboard magazine that Columbia Records, the same label behind 1D, has now signed Styles for a solo deal. But various publications are reporting the news as if it means that One Direction, which is currently on hiatus, has broken up for good. The band began their hiatus in December 2015, and their last performance together aired during a pre-taped segment for ABC’s “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.”
Vanity Fair claims in its headline that Styles is “Pulling a Zayn [Malik],” who infamously quit the band last year to embark on a solo career. Meanwhile, “Entertainment Tonight” asks, “R.I.P. One Direction?”
Additionally, many fans on social media are worried that Styles’ solo contract will result in One Direction splitting. However, Gossip Cop checked in with a source close to Styles, who exclusively tells us that while the singer is in fact making a solo record, “There’s still every intention to reunite [with One Direction] at some point.” We’re assured that the British boy band’s hiatus remains the same, and Styles’ solo project is most certainly “not the end” of 1D.
The timeline and details of Styles’ new deal have yet to be announced, but rest assured, we haven’t seen the last of One Direction. In addition to his solo album, Styles is also branching out into acting. As Gossip Cop reported, the singer will make his on-screen debut in Christopher Nolan’s 2017 WWII thriller, Dunkirk.
The Irish lad formed Modest Golf management to nurture new sports talent after One Direction went on hiatus.
At the Horan & Rose Gala, Niall told UK Daily Star:
“I love my music and I’ve not knocked it off the cards.”
But he admitted life is very different away from 1D:
“Sport is quite different from the pop world. It’s a bit strange as well not having your life mapped out for you, like in the band. Modest Golf management is really enjoyable – obviously I have a big passion for amateur golf and will be trying to look for the next batch of players.”
Niall had secretly been in the studio working with songwriting great Wayne Hector.
“I don’t know where it will go, there’s nothing suspicious in the pipeline, I’ve just been writing. Writing is something I got involved with early on. I try to go in and write with different types of songwriters, mixing Wayne with somebody who does folk music or something like that. I’m interested in blending the two genres together, but it’s not for anything particular.”
Meanwhile, Niall should be proud of his new direction. Sunday’s Horan & Rose Gala raised an incredible £800,000 for Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens, as well as Irish Autism Action and the Kate and Justin Rose foundation.
The big-hearted lad added:
“Everyone knows a family member or friend who has died of cancer. It’s the leading cause of death in kids and teens, so we want to do our bit to stop that.”
Speaking to Digital Spy on the red carpet the launch of the Horan & Rose Event at The Grove in Hertfordshire, the singer revealed he had been dabbling with recording and writing in the studio.
“Yeah, I’ve just been in the studio, nothing sneaky, nothing in particular going on,” he shared. Writing is always something I’ve enjoyed, as you know, and I’ve written with a few of the lads I’ve made relationships with down the years so I’ve been able to call up someone, ‘Do you wanna write? Yeah, cool, let’s go in the studio and write’.”
But while the thought of a Niall Horan solo album may be an exciting one for One Direction fans, we shouldn’t get our hopes up just yet as the singer added that playing golf is his main interest right now.
“Not particularly writing for anything but just having a bit of a laugh really,” he said.
“At the moment the golf thing is taking my interest… and I’m gonna spend a lot of time working on that, going to amateur events and sponsoring that. Just trying to get that off the ground first and see what happens.”
Speaking to Digital Spy on the red carpet at the launch of the Horan & Rose Event at The Grove in Hertfordshire, the singer broke the news that he isn’t particularly interested in following in Louis Tomlinson’s daddy footsteps at the moment.
“No, I’m definitely not broody at all, me,” he said. “Plenty of time for kids but literally I still haven’t met little Freddie yet.”
Louis Tomlinson welcomed his son Freddie Reign with Briana Jungwirth back in January, but it seems the long-awaited introduction to his One Direction bandmates isn’t through a lack of trying.
“Loads of times we’ve been in the same place but conflicted… he’s doing this, I’m doing that,” Niall explained. “I’m looking forward to meeting the little fella.”
Speaking to Digital Spy on the red carpet at the launch of the Horan & Rose Event at The Grove in Hertfordshire, Niall made sure Louis knew that he wouldn’t be going easy on him.
“I’m definitely confident about Soccer Aid yeah, usually this banter happens on Twitter and stuff like that but I think the English boys have been a little bit quieter than they usually are,” he said.
“I think they know what’s coming, we’ve got a very very strong team. We’ve got Ronaldinho, I think that pretty much says enough. Just in general it’s gonna be an unbelievable experience. It really feels like we’re in a professional football team, it’s something we’ve all dreamt of as kids so I think it’s genuinely gonna be an unbelievable week.”
The lads will be going up against each other for the charity football tournament in aid of UNICEF, with Tomlinson playing for Claudio Ranieri’s England and Horan for Jose Mourinho’s Rest of the World.
But while Niall and Louis are making sure to keep in touch – albeit with a bit of friendly banter – it seems fellow bandmate has been keeping him out of the loop, with Niall admitting that he didn’t know Harry would be cutting off his famous hair.
“He just posted a picture of it, of his hair, and it was gone,” Niall added. “So that’s the first I saw of it. It looks good, it looks good now.”
Niall has teamed up with golf pro Justin Rose to host an exclusive two-part charity event to raise awareness and funding for Cancer Research UK Kids and Teens.
Now that One Direction is on a break, all the guys of the band are finding new ways to occupy their time. Niall Horan has been spotted traveling, golfing, and enjoying his new freedom, but don’t think that he’s abandoning his musical roots just yet! The Irish star has asked Danny to write songs for a female artist he is launching.
McFly’s Danny Jones revealed to The Sun that Niall reached out for help producing a new singer.
“Niall text me the other day actually, saying there was a girl he wants to help out and he wanted me to produce it. He just said, ‘Mate, I’ve got this girl I want to develop. Can you help?’”
Niall is the second member of 1D to get into the talent scouting business after Louis set up his own record label and put together a new girlband.