They may have split up officially four years ago, but the One Direction fanbase is still alive and well – and desperate for a reunion. Well, it seems like former band member Liam Payne has got the memo as he recently dropped a *major* hint that something may be in the works. But does this really mean that One Direction will reunite in 2020? Or are we getting excited over nothing? It's time to piece together the puzzle of these reunion rumours.
February 2015: One Direction Officially Split
The day that One Direction announced that their hiatus would be permanent will be burned into a lot of Directioners memories. It was a lot. The band, who produced bangers like “What Makes You Beautiful” and “Steal My Girl” and, in total, sold 50 million records around the world. Things started to get shaky when Zayn Malik left after their 2015 tour. He initially cited that he was suffering with stress but later told Fader, "there was just a general conception that the management already had of what they want for the band and I just wasn't convinced with what we were selling.”
Fans' hearts broke when the rest of the band announced they’d be taking a break back in February 2016. And they've never performed again since. In fact, their last televised performance – on Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve – came out Dec. 31, 2015.
2015-2017: Shade Is Thrown
While a band breaking up would be a breeding ground for gossiping and bad blood, the One Direction boys have always kept things pretty civil. Well, for the most part.
In his statement explaining why he was leaving the band Malik said "I know I have four friends for life in Louis, Liam, Harry and Niall." But then, after signing with RCA records, he tweeted, “I guess I never explained why I left , it was for this moment to be given the opportunity to show you who I really am.” Ouch.
In January 2016, Malik told Capital FM that he wasn’t invited to meet Tomlinson's baby. He said, “We’ll see if I get an invite. Obviously I wish him the best of luck. His kid is cute as f**k so obviously I favourited [a picture of him on social media]. We're not talking on friend terms obviously, so that’s as far as I can go, by favouriting his picture." And speaking about whether he missed the band, he later told Complex magazine in April 2016, “I was frustrated with the band. It was about denying the authenticity of who I was, and what I enjoyed about music, and why I got into it. That was something that was always underlying, and ended up as the main factor of me leaving in the end."
But Malik isn’t the only one who has spoken out. In 2017, Horan told the Sun he no longer has Malik's number and in 2019 Tomlinson spoke to Dan Wooton about his relationship with Malik on his podcast. He said, “truthfully it never really got better. I had a couple of calls with him after I lost my mum and all the boys had agreed to come to that performance and he didn't show, so that really bugged me.”
December 2018: A More Positive Note
At the 2018 Capital Jingle Bell Ball, Payne insisted that he’s still close with his former bandmates and that he and Niall spent hours on FaceTime to each other. Was this positivity a sign of things to come...?
March 2019: "It Would Be Wrong Not To"
In March 2019, Tomlinson did an interview with Vanity Fair where he said, “We haven't started talking about it yet, but the truth is that it would be wrong not to meet even one day, it would be wrong for fans too. The problem is to say when. We are all engaged in our careers." He admitted that, while they may no longer be together, the band “have travelled the world. We got on all the stages. I miss it and when I think back I feel only pride."
January 2020: The First Mention Of An Anniversary Project
Hardcore fans will know that One Direction will have their tenth anniversary in July 2020. Surely that's something to celebrate, right?
Well, according to reports, Payne was quoted in a Tumblr post as speaking about "a documentary around an anniversary," at an event to promote his album LP1.
March 2020: Harry Reschedules His Tour
Styles has been the most successful artist since leaving One Direction. The “Kiwi” singer was set to start a 26-date tour across Europe in summer 2020. However, in March he announced that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, his Love On Tour would have to be postponed until 2021. Some hopeful Directioners optimistically commented that this move had freed up some time in Styles' schedule for a more... collaborative project, perhaps?
April 2020: Promising Twitter Activity
The internet was set alight with reunion rumours after fans noticed that Styles, Payne, Horan, and Tomlinson followed Malik on Twitter, hinting that bridges may be being rebuilt. #OneDirectionReunion began trending on Twitter as a result.
April 2020: Liam Drops A Big Hint
While some the boys have previously talked about their desires to get back together, but it wasn't until Payne appeared on James Corden’s chat show in April 2020 that we got the biggest hint of all. In answer to a question about a possible reunion, Payne said, “I'm not allowed to say too much obviously, because I'd be giving it away, but we've been speaking a lot more at the moment.” He also added, “I think that we're all feeling that that ten year[s] is a very special moment."
April 2020: Liam Drops The *Biggest* Hint Of All
Payne teased fans yet again during an interview on April 19 when he took to Instagram Live with DJ Alesso following the release of their new single "Midnight". While initially set up to discuss new music, it was no surprise that fans were eager for more 1D reunion news.
“Oh my God dude… there’s so many One Direction questions,” Alesso said reading the comments as they appeared. “But I feel like I don’t want to put you on the spot because I know you can’t say much.” Payne went on to reveal that he and Horan had been FaceTiming each other, and that they’d all been trying to arrange a group FaceTime seeing as they’re mostly all in London at the moment.
“I can’t say too much. Louis told me off for revealing our plans the other day, so you’re going to have the group chat telling me off,” Payne told Alesso. So it looks like the 1D reunion is somewhat official, just lacking on deets.
He also vaguely mentioned Zayn’s involvement (or lack there off), saying that Alesso could “come in and fill in for Zayn and join the band.” It kinda looks like Malik won’t be part of the reunion after all, but time will tell.