Niall Horan: From One Direction’s quiet one to bona fide rock and roller

By Alex Green, PA Entertainment Reporter

Dubbed the quiet one during his time in One Direction, Niall Horan has since established himself as a genuine force in the music industry.

The 26-year-old, from Mullingar in Ireland, scored a US number one and UK number three with his debut solo album, Flicker.

Now, his follow-up, Heartbreak Weather, has topped the charts in the UK, cementing his position as a bona fide solo artist.

One Direction at the Brits in 2013 (Ian West/PA)

Horan’s first taste of the spotlight came in 2010 when he auditioned for the seventh series of The X Factor in Dublin.

He performed the R&B track So Sick by Ne-Yo, with the judges voting him through to the bootcamp stage but agreeing he was overconfident in his vocal abilities.

There he failed to qualify for the live shows but was paired with four other young singers – Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson and Zayn Malik – to form the boyband One Direction.

Together they released five studio albums and won over 200 gongs including seven Brit Awards, before going on what was described as an “indefinite hiatus” in 2016.

Horan’s post-One Direction career has seen him explore the folkier side of pop, incorporating country, swing and the soft-rock of The Eagles and Fleetwood Mac.

Rory McIlroy and Niall Horan in 2015 (Adam Davy/PA)

During his time on the road with One Direction, Horan used golf to unwind.

A one-time caddy for Rory McIlroy, Horan has spoken of how he and Styles used the sport as an excuse to escape their hotel for an afternoon.

In February 2016 he founded Modest! Golf management and signed several golfers including Magical Kenya Open-winner Guido Migliozzi.

Horan has been reluctant to share details of his private life.

However, in April 2018, he opened up about his diagnosis of mild OCD, anxiety and occasional stage fright.

He has been linked with stars including Ellie Goulding and model Barbara Palvin.