Liam James Payne
August 29, 1993 (age 27)
Wolverhampton, West Midlands
Big Payno, P-Town, Daddy Direction, Lima Bean/Lima, Payno, Payne Train, Leeyum
Geoff Payne, father
- 1 Early Life
- 2 Musical Career
- 3 Solo Career
- 4 Personal Life
- 5 Relationships
- 6 Controversies
- 7 Tattoos
- 8 Credits
- 9 Quotes
- 10 Trivia
- 11 External Links
- 12 References
- 13 Gallery
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 needed 32 injections in his arm every day. In 2012, Liam found his kidney was fully functioning again.
From the age of six, Liam showed signs of singing talent. He would sing for 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 Paget Road campus.
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. 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". In 2014 and 2016, Liam collaborated with American rapper Juicy J on several tracks which remain unreleased.
Liam confirmed a solo record deal with Capitol Records in July 2016. He said "Happy to have signed to Capitol Records. They have an amazing history of artists, I hope I can follow in their footsteps." He clarified the signing was not an exit from One Direction. Marketing-management company Doyen Global announced Liam as their new client, confirming Liam's departure from Modest Management. In October, Republic Records announced they would serve as Liam's United States record label. Throughout 2016 and 2017, Liam began working on his debut solo album.
Liam released his debut single "Strip That Down" in 19th May 2017. The single was co-written by Ed Sheeran and featured American rapper Quavo. Despite mixed reviews, Strip That Down became the highest selling single for a remaining One Direction member and was a worldwide chart success. The song peaked within the US top 10 and reached #1 on US pop radio. Liam released four more singles in 2017; "Bedroom Floor" (co-written by US singer Charlie Puth), "For You" (a duet with UK singer Rita Ora, for the Fifty Shades Darker soundtrack), "Get Low" (a collaboration with German-Russian dance producer Zedd) and "Familiar" (a duet with Colombian singer J Balvin). Of the four, the most successful was "For You", peaking in the top 5 and 10 of many worldwide charts, and scoring both Payne and Ora their first #1 single in Germany. He embarked on a worldwide promotional tour lasting most of the year, playing music festivals in numerous countries, talking to press in print and on radio, and performing at awards shows.
In August, Liam announced plans to postpone his debut album and released an EP titled "First Time". He explained that, despite his debut album already being completed, he would be making changes in the aftermath of his split from Cheryl. In October, Liam released a collaborative single titled "Polaroid" with Jonas Blue and Lennon Stella. He also served as the celebrity guest judge for Louis Tomlinson during the Judges Houses portion of his run as a judge on The X Factor (UK).
Liam headlined his first UK show in February, in collaboration with virtual reality team MelodyVirtual, allowing fans to watch 3D video of the concert. Liam strengthened his ties to the fashion industry by collaborating with Cartier, Hugo Voss, British Vogue and Donatella Versace. Payne announced he was putting the "finishing touches" on his debut album in April. In May, Payne confirmed he was the new global ambassador of Hugo Voss and released an official clothing collection titled #HUGOxLiamPayne. On September 18, Liam released a new single titled Stack It Up, featuring rapper A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie. Liam reunited with Louis later that month when they both headlined the #CCME music festival. In November, Liam released a new track "All I Want (For Christmas). Liam also promoted his capsule collection for HUGO with a semi-naked photoshoot campaign. Liam's debut album, LP1, was released on December 6. It was met with poor sales and mixed reviews from critics. Further backlash came after the song "Both Ways" was interpreted as fetishising bisexual women.
Liam served as the face of HUGO Fragrances, releasing a new campaign to promote the brand. After a number of festival dates were cancelled due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, Liam instead donated his time and money to Trussel Trust, a food bank for the needy. In early April, Liam perhaps mistakenly revealed One Direction had been in talks to commemorate their ten year anniversary on July 23, 2020. The revelation sparked worldwide headlines and Twitter trends. Niall subsequently confirmed they had talked about it, and Liam revealed Louis would "egg his house" if he revealed anything more. It is unknown whether Zayn Malik and Harry Styles have been part of the reunion discussions, nor what exactly the reunion will entail. On April 8, Liam premiered a collaboration with Alesso titled "Midnight". Liam participated in Lady Gaga's Global Citizen #TogetherAtHome concert in order to raise money to fight COVID-19. He also began vlogging, providing fans with weekly updates on YouTube.
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. 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).
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Liam met dancer Danielle Peazer on The X Factor in 2010. They were in a relationship from April 2011 to September 2012, reunited briefly again in December 2012, but split permanently in April 2013. In December 2015, Danielle and Liam appeared in a "best friends" picture on Instagram. She stated in a February 2016 interview that she and Liam were still close friends. In 2018, she told fans they would not believe the reason for her split from Liam, later clarifying he did not cheat on her and wouldn't have remained friends with him if he had, but did not feel she should elaborate on the actual reason for their break up.
Liam was in a relationship with model Sophia Smith, from 2013 to 2015. They made their first public appearance 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. She often accompanied him on tour and remains good friends with some of the female family members of One Direction. In October 2015, People Magazine confirmed Liam and Sophia had ended their relationship after 2.5 years.
Liam was in a relationship with British pop singer and The X Factor judge, Cheryl, for two years. They originally met in 2008, during The X Factor's fifth season, when Liam was just 14 years old. Two years later, at 16, Liam re-applied for X Factor in 2010, where he was ultimately placed into One Direction. In 2014, Liam wrote a song titled "I Won't Break" for Cheryl's 'Only Human' album. Cheryl and Liam's relationship was confirmed on 27 February 2016. The couple were not often seen publicly but attended several red carpet events in mid 2016. Cheryl and Liam welcomed a 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.
Liam is in a relationship with model Maya Henry. He confirmed the relationship on his Instagram account on 20 September 2019 and in several interviews after. As of August 2020, he is engaged to Maya.
Liam has received backlash over several seemingly homophobic comments, though he has consistently denied an anti-LGBT stance. In 2014, Payne went to openly homophobic reality TV family the Robertsons, from US reality TV show Duck Dynasty, commending them for their "family values". Many speculated this was agreement with the family's homophobic and racist stance. Payne reacted angrily to the backlash saying "Being a fan of someones show and the way they still hold a family together doesn't 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, I'll be back again when the freedom of speech law is back and people don’t believe to much into the bulls#!t they read." 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 say a full frontal than have people look at that." Some assumed 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 Againin Tour concert in America, Liam angered online 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." Fans felt the comment was exclusionary and offensive toward LGBT women. Liam again responded angrily, saying this: "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 some fans when he assumed the displaying of any rainbow flags/signs at One Direction concerts was showing support for the conspiracy theory of Larry Stylinson, a fan-rumored closeted 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". While some fans had in fact confirmed they bring pride flags to concerts in support of the Larry theory, 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." Fans online expressed some confusion about Payne's comments, after witnessing him at previous concerts encouraging fans with rainbow signs/flags to hold them up and be "proud". Styles would also encourage the flags and sometimes held them up himself. 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 clear 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.
In 2019, Liam caused controversy when he dated 19-year-old model Maya Henry, who is 7 years younger than Payne (26 at the time). After some confusion surrounding Henry's age, and whether they were together when she was 17, Liam clarified that she was in fact 19, which only sparked more criticism. The two also allegedly met when she was only 15. When Liam's debut album was released, a track called "Both Ways" was heavily criticised by music fans for allegedly fetishizing bisexual women. The song depicts Liam in a relationship with a woman, as they engage in threesomes with other women. Critics said it perpetuated the harmful idea that bisexuality in women is largely performative for the benefit of straight men. The hashtag trend "#liampayneisoverparty" trended worldwide on December 7. He also received criticism for jokingly commenting that he did not "understand" Harry Styles fashion choices and wouldn't let him babysit his son because of how Harry might dress him. In 2020, Liam apologised for "Both Ways" lyrical content and said he would be moving his image away from the more sexually charged songs and persona he had projected during 2017-2019. He also addressed an ongoing battle with alcoholism.
In early 2014, a picture of Liam standing on a roof ledge of a 34 story building was uploaded to a fan account dedicated to him. 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."
As of October 2017, Liam has 21 known tattoos.
- "Last First Kiss" — writing
- "Back For You" — writing
- "Summer Love" — writing
- "Still The One" — writing
- "Irresistible" — writing
- "Right Now" — writing
- "Does He Know" — writing
- "Diana" — writing
- "Midnight Memories (song)" — writing
- "Little Black Dress" — writing
- "Better Than Words" — writing
- "Little White Lies" — writing
- "Through The Dark" — writing
- "Story of My Life" — writing
- You And I (Big Payno Remix) — producer
- "Steal My Girl" — writing
- "Night Changes" — writing
- "Ready To Run" — writing
- "Fool's Gold" — writing
- "No Control" — writing
- "Fireproof" — writing
- "Spaces" — writing
- "Clouds" — writing
- "Change Your Ticket" — writing
- "Illusion" — writing
- Steal My Girl (Big Payno Remix) — producer
- "End Of The Day" — writing
- "Long Way Down" — writing
- "What a Feeling" — writing
- "History" — writing
- "Wolves" — writing
- "A.M." — writing
- "Love You Goodbye" — producer
- "Hey Angel" — co-producer, instruments
- "Drag Me Down (Remix)" ft Lunchmoney Lewis — producer
- "Home" — writing
- Stack It Up (featuring A Boogie Wit A Hoodie)
- Heart Meet Break
- Hips Don’t Lie
- Tell Your Friends
- Say It All - writing
- Rude Hours
- Live Forever (featuring Cheat Codes)
- Weekend - writing
- Both Ways - writing
- Strip That Down (featuring Quavo) - writing
- For You (with Rita Ora)
- Familiar (with J Balvin)
- Polaroid (with Jonas Blue and Lennon Stella)
- Get Low (with Zedd)
- Bedroom Floor
- Hurting Me - writing
- Before It Ends - writing
- Trouble - writing
- Nobody Else - writing
- All I Want (For Christmas)
- "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)
- "Polaroid" - vocals (Jonas Blue and Lennon Stella collaboration)
First Time EP
- First Time (featuring French Montana) - vocals
- Home With You - vocals
- Depend On It - vocals
- Slow - vocals
- "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)
- "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."
- 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.
- He has addressed his ongoing struggles with eating disorders/body image and alcoholism.
- 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.
- His One Direction microphone was always taped red.
- http://www.liampayneofficial.com — Official Website
- https://www.instagram.com/liampayne/ - Official Instagram
- SS100 List
- Liam Payne Republic Records Deal Announced
- Intensi-t Tweet
- September 21 2016
- Liam with Pharrell 2016
- Sean Garrett Instagram
- One Direction 'Between Us' Fragrance Quiz
- Tom Hiddleston Shout-Out To Liam's Dog
- Danielle's Instagram
- NIALL HORAN WROTE NEW ONE DIRECTION 'FOUR' ALBUM TRACK 'ILLUSION' ABOUT LIAM PAYNE'S GIRLFRIEND SOPHIA SMITH: 'IT'S A BIT WEIRD'
- People Magazine Article
- Liam and Cheryl dating
- Liam Payne Duck Dynasty Drama
- Liam Payne Attitude
- Rainbow Direction Statement
- Building Incident
- How Liam Payne Saved My Life