Back in the early 2010s, five handsome young lads from England and Ireland took the pop-music world by storm. While some critics were quick to dismiss the boy band, One Direction was almost absurdly likable. They were funny, easygoing, and had their own distinct personalities — from the moody and broody Zayn Malik to the flirty and rogue-ish Harry Styles. In fact, hating on the band felt like the equivalent of hating on a group of cute little puppies.
The band — which also included Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne, and Niall Horan — consistently released sweet and catchy songs before eventually maturing into a more Mumford and Sons–esque sound with their 2013 album "Midnight Memories." But by 2016, after growing a rabid fanbase with five studio albums and multiple world tours, the group was dunzo.
Are One Direction still friends?
Fans have become curious again about the boys' friendship since Harry won big at the 2023 Grammy awards, where he took home the gramophone for Best Pop Vocal Album as well as the coveted Album of the Year.
Niall posted a screenshot from the night with the message "Very proud" and a heart emoji.
Liam, meanwhile, posted a lengthier tribute alongside a lovely pic of Harry looking down at his Grammy.
"Wow … this image is really something to wake up to and when you write music like you do, Harry, you deserve every millisecond of that moment looking down smiling at the trophy you’ve earned. God bless you brother, congratulations," he wrote.
Over the years, the boys have mainly kept it classy when they've been asked about each other and about their time in the band. The more vocal critic has been Zayn, who quit 1D in 2015 and has since vented his frustrations about his time in the group. He's talked about everything from feeling uninspired by One Direction's songs to believing he "didn't really make any friends from the band."
The others don't seem to have much if any contact with Zayn, but the remaining four have kept in touch over the years, some more than others.
By the looks of it, Liam, Louis, and Niall are all still pals who talk pretty regularly — perhaps more so Liam and Louis. Liam said in May 2022 that Louis was his "best mate now." And soon after the band's breakup, Niall said he and Louis lived near each other in L.A. and hung out quite a bit.
Considering Harry's astronomical solo success, it's not surprising that the boys seem to only run into him from time to time. But what they all have to say about their encounters is typically positive and encouraging.
Liam told Andy Cohen in 2019 about running into Harry, "We spoke about a number of things; we hadn't seen each other for three years. Literally, I hadn't seen him once, we hadn't spoken or anything. He was pretty much the same boy that I left him. We spoke about kids and happiness and all sorts of stuff."
Despite their schedules, it looks like Harry, Liam, Louis, and Niall still show up for each other when it counts. In 2016, after Louis tragically lost his mother, the boys (sans Zayn) came to support him at a gig he'd already been scheduled to do before the tragedy.
"It was just seeing everyone there — Harry, Niall, and Liam — that was what I needed that night, that support," Louis said at the time.
He added, referring to Zayn's absence: "So on the other end of the spectrum it kind of really showed."