Can Zayn Malik replicate the success of these former boyband members?

By on Friday, 31st July 2015 at 11:00 am
 

In March 2015, the pop world came to a standstill when Zayn Malik announced that he was leaving One Direction to live the life of “a normal 22-year-old”. Since leaving the boyband, the 22-year old has spent time in the studio with Naughty Boy, though the collaboration appeared to fall through after Zayn called the producer “a fat joke” in a Twitter feud in July.

On Wednesday, July 29th, 2015, Zayn took to Twitter again to announce he’s signed a solo record deal with RCA Records, whose other acts include the likes of Chris Brown, Justin Timberlake and Mark Ronson. He tweeted the following. Not quite the life of “a normal 22-year-old”, is it Zayn?

Nevertheless, Zayn Malik isn’t the first former boyband member to pursue a solo career, not by a long shot. Can he go on to replicate the success of these megastars?

Justin Timberlake

Having risen to fame as part of *NSYNC, Justin Timberlake made an instant impact on the charts with ‘Like I Love You’, ‘Cry Me A River’ and ‘Rock Your Body’ from his debut album, ‘Justified’. Three years later, Timberlake returned with ‘SexyBack’, giving the singer his first solo #1.

After a lengthy break from music (to pursue a number of acting roles and business ventures), he made his return in 2013 with ‘The 20/20 Experience’, which featured hits such as ‘Suit & Tie (ft. Jay-Z)’ and ‘Mirrors’.

Robbie Williams

In July 1995, a matter of months before Take That were set to embark on a worldwide tour, Robbie Williams was given an ultimatum by his bandmates: adhere to the band’s responsibilities or leave. He chose the latter, and the rest (as we all know) is history.

Since then, Robbie Williams has gone on to top the Official UK Single Chart seven times, with hits such as ‘Candy’, ‘Somethin’ Stupid (ft. Nicole Kidman)’ and ‘Rock DJ’.

Ronan Keating

Following a successful run in Boyzone, Ronan Keating bid farewell to the boyband to pursue his own solo career, which has had all the thrills of a rollercoaster ride. The Irish pop singer’s cover of ‘When You Say Nothing At All’ gave him a debut #1, with ‘Life Is A Rollercoaster’ equalling his success a year later.

Keating went on to release a string of hits, including ‘Lovin’ Each Day’, ‘If Tomorrow Never Comes’ and ‘I Love It When We Do’.

Nick Jonas

After The Jonas Brothers rose to fame on the Disney Channel, it was only a matter of time before one of them achieved solo success. Joe Jonas looked to be the odds-on favourite when his collaboration with Demi Lovato, ‘This Is Me’, landed in the Official UK Top 40, although his attempts didn’t quite work out.

Nevertheless, Joe’s younger brother Nick kept the Jonas flag flying with ‘Jealous’, which was kept off the number one spot by Jess Glynne – ‘Hold My Hand’ in April 2015.

Lionel Richie

Way back in 1968, Lionel Richie joined American soul group The Commodores as a singer and saxophonist. His knack for writing a ballad earned Lionel Richie songwriting commissions from other artists, which paved the way for his own solo career.

The singer went on to release phenomenal hits such as ‘Hello’, ‘Dancing on the Ceiling’ and ‘All Night Long’, earning himself a spot on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury in June 2015.

Other former boyband members that have embarked on a solo career include George Michael (Wham!) Nathan Sykes (The Wanted), Ashton Merrygold (JLS), Simon Webbe (Blue), Boy George (Culture Club) Brian McFadden (Westlife), Ricky Martin (Menudo), Morrisey (The Smiths), Phil Collins (Genesis), Gary Barlow (Take That), Michael Jackson (The Jackson 5) and many, many more.

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