They say breaking up is hard to do, but leaving a famous boyband and going solo must be even harder. Last May Zayn Malik broke teenaged hearts when he announced his departure from One Direction, but one year on he’s just released his first solo album. But now Mind of Mine has finally dropped, Zayn might want to read up on some other former boyband members who tried their hand at a solo career, to varying degrees of success.
Former Take That member, Robbie Williams
When Robbie left Take That in 1995 helplines had to be set up to help teenage girls deal with their heartbreak. But Robbie didn't stay quiet for long, a year later he released a cover of George Michael’s ‘Freedom’ which hit number two in the UK. Then in 1997 came ‘Angels’, which firmly established Robbie as a solo success story. He has since gone on to sell over 75 million records worldwide and even found time to rejoin Take That in 2010.
Backstreet Boy, Nick Carter
Nick Cater’s post-Backstreet Boys career has been a mixed bag. So far he’s released three solo albums, starred in a reality TV show with his family, competed on ‘Dancing With The Stars’ and published an autobiography. But solo Nick has never managed to even come close to the success he enjoyed with the Backstreet Boys, but luckily for him the boyband are still touring and even planning to release a ninth studio album.
N'Sync's breakout star Justin Timberlake
Justin Timberlake is perhaps the biggest boyband success story of modern times. Starting his career as the curly-haired one from N’ Sync who once dated Britney Spears, Justin has morphed into Grammy winning, record breaking artist. While his musical output has slowed down in recent years, Justin has also forged an acting career and become a restauranteur, proving he really is a man of many talents.
New Kids On The Block's Jordan Knight
When New Kids On The Block disbanded in 1995 Jordan Knight stayed quiet for a few years, then in 1999 he released his self-titled first solo album. His debut single ‘Give It To You’ hit the top 10 in the US and UK, but later offerings never had the same success. In 2008 he found himself back with New Kids On The Block and last summer the band teamed with TLC, and Nelly for a special 90s nostalgia tour.
The solo Jonas Brother, Nick Jonas
Fun fact: Nick Jonas was originally meant to be a solo artist, but a record producer liked the sound of his brothers Kevin and Joe singing along with him so much that the Jonas Brothers were born. Nick actually released his first solo album in 2004, but he was only 12 so it doesn't really count. But in 2014 he dropped his self-titled second album which featured hit singles ‘Jealous’ and ‘Chains’. While it’s still relatively early days for solo Nick the 23-year-old seems to be doing everything right, but if music doesn't work out he’s also got a pretty impressive acting career to fall back on.
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