November 9, 2015


One Direction's Solo Prospects, Ranked: Who's Got The Best Shot at Stardom?

Jeff Kravitz/AMA2014/FilmMagic
Jeff Kravitz/AMA2014/FilmMagic

With One Direction's post-Made In The A.M. hiatus looming, many are wondering which member of the world's biggest boy band will outlast the collective and become huge in his own right. Which boy, or boys, will be the next Justin Timberlake? Looking at each member's past history, interest and talents, we rank who's got the best shot to break out.

#1Zayn Malik

With a solo deal signed this summer with RCA Records (home to Justin Timberlake, Christina AguileraSia, etc), Malik's solo venture is already underway. The powerhouse vocalist has a solid team in place, with a superstar manager Sarah Stennett (the woman behind Iggy AzaleaIggy Azalea) and cool producers (Frank Ocean producer Malay said Malik is "pure genius" and "an artist's artist"). Plus, Tyler, the Creator has already given his co-sign. OF1DKTA!

There are a few factors that could potentially hold him back: apparently Malik was unhappy with One Direction's pop sound, and is now making a "soulful" solo record. That sounds intriguing, but his style may change so drastically that Directioners won't have any interest. Plus, Zayn has gotten in ugly, public feuds with Naughty Boy and Calvin Harris since departing 1D, and allegedly broke up with fiancee Perrie Edwards over text message. We're still bullish on Zayn's solo career, but a bad attitude can distract people from the (promising) music.

Likeliness of a Successful Solo Career: 8.5

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