Niall James Horan (born 13 September 1993) is an Irish singer-songwriter and guitarist, known as a member of the boy band One Direction. In 2010, Horan auditioned as a solo artist for the seventh series of the British televised singing competition The X Factor. He failed to progress to the "Boys" category at the "judges' houses", but after guest judge Nicole Scherzinger suggested that Niall joined One Direction, with Harry Styles, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson, the group became a reality. The five-piece band made it to the final and finished in third place. Even though they didn't win, One Direction was signed by Simon Cowell to a reported £2 million Syco record contract.

In his career as a member of One Direction, he has co-written songs such as "Taken", "Everything About You", "Same Mistakes", "Back for You" and "Summer Love", from the albums Up All Night and Take Me Home. In the latter, he also has played guitar. He also co-wrote the songs "Don't Forget Where You Belong", "Why Don't We Go There" and "Story of My Life" for the Midnight Memories album,"Night Changes", "Fool's Gold" and "Change Your Ticket" for the album Four, "Wolves", "A.M", "Temporary Fix" and "Never Enough" for the band's fifth album Made in the AM.

Early life

Niall James Horan was born on 13 September 1993 in Mullingar, Ireland. His parents, Bobby Horan and Maura Gallagher, divorced when he was five years old, so he and his brother Greg Horan had to live in both houses for some time. They later decided to move definitely with their father. He attended St. Kenny National School primary school, and as a teen, the Catholic Coláiste Mhuire, both in Mullingar. Niall started playing guitar when his brother got one for Christmas, but didn't use it so Niall started to play with it and taught himself how to do it by playing it off YouTube. His aunt discovered his talent one day when she was in the car with Niall as he started singing. She originally thought the radio was on. As a teenager he performed at the Mullingar Arts Centre (in a fund-raiser for the local football team, the Shamrocks), he also supported Lloyd Daniels at the Academy 2 in Dublin.

Music career

The X Factor

In 2010, at sixteen years old, Niall auditioned for the seventh series of The X Factor in Dublin. He sang "So Sick", and received mixed comments from the judges. Louis Walsh was in his favour, but Cheryl Cole and guest judge Katy Perry, felt he needed some time to grow. Simon voted to let him through, Cheryl said no, and Louis quickly added in his yes, and left Niall's fate up to Katy. She decided to vote yes, and Niall was put through to bootcamp.

At bootcamp, Niall sang "Champagne Supernova", but failed to qualify for the "Boys" category. After a suggestion from guest judge Nicole Scherzinger, Niall was put into a group with four other boys, who also failed to move on in the competition, but since they were too good to let go, the judges decided to agree with Nicole. Niall, along with Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson and Zayn Malik, formed One Direction. Styles came up with the band name, which he thought would sound good when announcer Peter Dickson read their name out on the live shows. Subsequently, the group got together for two weeks to get to know each other and to practice. For their qualifying song at "judges' houses" and their first song as a group, One Direction sang an acoustic version of "Torn". Simon Cowell later commented that the performance convinced him that the group "were confident, fun, like a gang of friends, and kind of fearless as well." Within the first four weeks of the live shows, they were Cowell's last act in the competition. During the competition, the band performed different songs such as Kelly Clarkson's "My Life Would Suck Without You" and Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart", quickly gaining popularity in the UK. Nonetheless, they finished in third place, behind runner-up Rebecca Ferguson and winner Matt Cardle.

One Direction

Following The X Factor, One Direction had been signed by Cowell to a reported £2 million Syco record contract. They began recording their debut album in January 2011, they flew over to Los Angeles to record it. In February 2011, the boy band and other contestants from the series participated in The X Factor Live Tour. During the tour, the group performed for 500,000 people throughout the UK. After the tour concluded in April 2011, the group continued working on their debut album. Recording took place in Stockholm, London and Los Angeles, as One Direction worked with producers Carl Falk, Savan Kotecha, Steve Mac and Rami Yacoub, among others.

In 2011, they released their first studio album, Up All Night. It debuted at number one on the United States Billboard 200, selling 176,000 copies in its first week. This led to One Direction becoming the first British band to debut its first studio album at number one. Their first single, "What Makes You Beautiful", reached number one in Ireland, Mexico and the UK. The subsequent singles, "Gotta Be You", "One Thing" and "More than This", had moderate success, being successful in some countries, but failing in others. To promote the album, they embarked on the Up All Night Tour and released the tour's DVD, Up All Night: The Live Tour.

In November 2012, they released their second studio album, Take Me Home. This album had a better reception than their first album, reaching number one in the UK and becoming their first album to top the UK chart. It also reached the first spot in Australia, Canada, the United States, Ireland and New Zealand. "Live While We're Young", one of the singles, reached number one in Ireland and New Zealand, while "Little Things" reached number one in the UK. The third single, "Kiss You", made it to several charts, but never topped any. Additionally, they embarked on their second tour, the Take Me Home Tour, which covered four continents. Their movie This Is Us, directed by Morgan Spurlock was mostly shot during the tour. The film grossed more than $30 million worldwide its first weekend in theatres.

They also sang a medley of Blondie's "One Way or Another" and The Undertones' "Teenage Kicks" called "One Way or Another (Teenage Kicks)", in order to raise funds for Comic Relief.

The band's third studio album, Midnight Memories, was released on 25 November 2013. Their fourth album, Four, was released on 17 November 2014. This album is One Direction's last album as a five-piece. Their fifth album, Made in the A.M., was released on 13 November 2015. It reached number one in several counties including the UK, beating Justin Bieber's Purpose. This album is One Direction's last album before the hiatus.

Solo career

In September 2016, it was announced that Horan had signed a solo deal with Capitol Records.


In an interview with Digital Spy, Horan cited Michael Bublé as one of his biggest influences because they had similar life histories, as he was discovered by his aunt and the same thing happened to Bublé, except he was discovered by his father. In his audition for The X Factor, he said he wanted to be a "big name", like Beyoncé or Justin Bieber.

Horan has also stated that he is a "big swing" fan, citing his favourite artists as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Bublé. Horan likes rock music and is a fan of The Eagles, Bon Jovi and The Script.

Personal life

His parents are divorced, and his mother has since remarried. He has an older brother named Greg. Horan is a supporter of Football League Championship side, Derby County. He also enjoys watching tennis and cricket occasionally, he has gone twice to the Australian Open and he's also friends with the player Novak Djokovic and is a supporter of the Ireland cricket team.

Horan enjoyed playing a number of sports while growing up, including golf, football, and Gaelic football. In the summer of 2010, while playing football with friends, Horan injured his knee and was diagnosed with a floating kneecap. The problem recurred several times over the next couple of years, including a 2013 incident where he dislocated his knee onstage during a concert in Antwerp, Belgium. Horan came to the United States for major reconstructive surgery in January 2014, after the tour ended. After the surgery, Horan was invited to do physical therapy with Chelsea by their manager, José Mourinho. Horan went through more than seven weeks of physical therapy with the members of the team and their physical therapist at their training ground in Surrey.

Horan has involved himself in the sports world a number of times on social media, and on 8 April 2015, he caddied for professional golfer Rory McIlroy for the Par 3 contest prior to the 2015 Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia. A video of Horan losing his balance during a televised interview with McIlroy circulated around the internet for several days following the tournament, causing Horan himself to tweet about the fall.

In 2016 Horan and golf player Justin Rose created the "Horan and Rose Gala", a charity event in aid of Cancer Research UK Kids and Teens. The event will be hosted by Kirsty Gallagher and Gaby Logan in London with a dinner cooked by Jamie Oliver and a performance of Olly Murs on Sunday May 29 and Monday 30th. On April 12 Rose posted a photo of him and Horan writing songs for the event.

In April 2016, Horan was announced to be joining the Soccer Aid 2016 star line-up fundraiser for UNICEF as an assistant manager and player for the Rest of the World team. His team will consist of Claudio Ranieri, Gordon Ramsay, Michael Sheen, Nicky Byrne, and Rickie Haywood Williams, among others. Horan's team will play against fellow bandmate Louis Tomlinson who is playing for the England team.


2010The X FactorHimselfContestant; Series 7
2012iCarlyHimselfGuest role; (Season 6, Episode 2)
Saturday Night LiveHimselfMusical guest; (Season 37, Episode 18)
2013One Direction: This Is UsHimself
Saturday Night LiveHimselfMusical guest; (Season 39, Episode 8)
2014Where We Are - The Concert FilmHimself
Saturday Night LiveHimselfMusical guest; (Season 40, Episode 10)
One Direction: The TV SpecialHimself


Songwriting credits

2011"Taken"One DirectionUp All NightCo-writer
"Everything About You"
"Same Mistakes"
2012"Live While We're Young"Take Me HomeAdditional guitars
"Kiss You"
"Heart Attack"
"Change My Mind"
"Back For You"Co-writer
"Summer Love"
2013"Story Of My Life"Midnight Memories
"Don't Forget Where You Belong"
"Why Don't We Go There"
2014"Fool's Gold"Four
"Night Changes"
"Change Your Ticket"
2015"Never Enough"Made in the A.M.
"Temporary Fix"