Niall Horan helped his One Direction pals make chart history when his first solo album, Flicker, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart (for the chart dated Nov. 11). One Direction impressively ties The Beatles as the only groups in music history to have three of its members reach the Billboard 200 summit with solo albums.
Horan’s 1D mate Harry Styles also topped the chart with his eponymous, art-rock debut solo album back in March of this year and departing member Zayn topped it in 2016 with his edgy solo album Mind of Mine. One Direction members Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson have yet to release their solo albums. However, they have each achieved chart-topping success with solo singles, like Payne's No. 1 hit "Strip That Down" and Tomlinson's No.1 collaboration with Steve Aoki, "Just Hold On."
Beatles members Paul McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison all racked up multiple No. 1 solo albums, with McCartney earning the most at six (this number includes works with Wings). Ringo Starr is the only member who fell just one position short of a solo No. 1 album, with his 1973 debut solo album Ringo peaking at No. 2 on the chart.
Horan released three singles ahead of Flicker’s Oct. 20 release. The lead single, “This Town,” hit the Top 10 on the UK Singles Chart and the Top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. His second solo single, “Slow Hands,” topped three U.S. Billboard Charts: The Adult Top 40, Dance Club Songs, and U.S. Mainstream Top 40 charts. To date, “Slow Hands” has peaked at No. 7 on the UK Singles Chart. Flicker notably topped the Irish native singer-songwriter’s home chart in scoring a No. 1 Irish Albums Chart debut. Flicker debuted in the Top 5 on the UK Albums Chart, ranking at No. 3.
Horan has been busy promoting his album, making several TV and radio appearances. He’s also touring extensively to support it on the Flicker World Tour. One Direction remains on an indefinite hiatus while its members continue to pursue and promote solo projects. Stay tuned to AXS for Niall Horan updates.