If you're a One Direction fan casting votes in the socially voted categories during the 2018 iHeartRadio Music Awards, there's one category you may have a hard time with: Best Solo Breakout. Because all four 1D members (post Zayn Malik's departure) are all nominated against each other.
Last year, Zayn took home the award for Best Solo Breakout after a successful release of his debut solo album Mind of Mine. He was up against two of his former bandmates Niall Horan and Louis Tomlinson. This year, Niall and Louis are nominated again, and so are Harry Styles and Liam Payne. Camila Cabello is also nominated again in this category.
All four former 1D members went off on their solo ventures this year, with two of them releasing full-length albums and going on tour. So how do you choose a winner?!
Our Directioner thoughts exactly, Liam.
Let's break this down, and take a look at what Harry, Niall, Liam, and Louis have been up to over the last year.
Harry Styles has done it all this year. First, fans got see his acting abilities in war movie Dunkirk, but then they quickly got to see and hear what solo Harry music sounded like. It all started with his debut single "Sign of the Times," which went Platinum in the US and created a sonic pathway for fans as they followed him down a much different road than One Direction in terms of his style of music. His rock-heavy sound only flourished more on his self-titled debut album, which Harry released back in May. Harry also hit the road on his first solo headlining tour in 2017, which will continue on in multiple cities across the world this year ... and all in his many fabulous Gucci suits.
Niall is another 1D member that went in a bit of a different direction following the band's hiatus. We got a small taste of what solo Niall sounded like when he released his debut single ... the acoustic "This Town" in the fall of 2016. Then, last year, Niall showed a different side of himself when he released his mega hit "Slow Hands," before serving us his debut solo album Flicker. The album also includes his latest single "Too Much Too Ask," and a collaboration with country singer/songwriter Maren Morris called "Seeing Blind." In fact, Niall and Maren performed their song live together during the 2017 CMA Awards. And like Harry, Niall has also been busy touring the country this year, and will continue throughout 2018.
Last year, Liam finally shared some of the solo music that he had been working on, and his very first single was his ear worm of a song "Strip That Down," which features Migos rapper Quavo. And that's not the only star power behind this tune as Liam teamed up with Ed Sheeran to write it, along with Steve Mac. "Strip That Down" went double Platinum in the US -- not bad for your debut single as a solo artist! Next, the fandom received two more singles from Liam; "Get Low," which features dance music superstar Zedd and "Bedroom Floor," which was co-written with none other than Charlie Puth. Liam has been songwriting with some awesome people! And while the 24-year-old is still working on his debut full-length album, he recently teamed up with Rita Ora on a new song called "For You" for the new Fifty Shades Freed film.
Fans first got a taste of Louis' solo work when he teamed up with Steve Aoki in 2016 for their hit "Just Hold On," the EDM jam you couldn't get out of your head. But Louis' showed fans multiple sides of his musical style with the next few songs he released. In 2017, Louis teamed up with Bebe Rexha and Digital Farm Animals on "Back To You," a minimal dance/pop tune. And in the same vein, Tomlinson released a promotional single called "Just Like You." But more recently, Louis switched things up by delivering a punk rock-infused song called "Miss You." The track sounds like he's headed straight for Warped Tour with its guitar riffs. All kinds of vibes coming from Louis Tomlin's solo music!
But, if you can't decide on which One Direction member had the best breakout this year, you can always vote for Camila Cabello, who had an EXCELLENT 2017 and is about to have an even bigger 2018 with the release of her debut solo album (FINALLY, CAMILA!). Camilizers have been experiencing this 20-year-old queen's solo music for a while, even when she was still a part of Fifth Harmony via her collaborations with Shawn Mendes ("I Know What You Did Last Summer") and Machine Gun Kelly ("Bad Things"). Over the last year as a solo artist, we've been treated to several different solo singles from Camila like her double Platinum smash hit "Havana," and now, her very first album, Camila, is finally here. The future looks very bright for this little lady.
So, who will win the title of Best Solo Breakout this year?! It’s up to YOU to decide! Voting for Best Solo Breakout (and all socially voted categories) has already begun and will close on March 4th -- that’s two months worth of votes, people! This is not a drill! Fans can vote by heading to iHeartRadio.com/awards.
The 2018 iHeartRadio Music Awards will be simulcast live on TBS, TNT and truTV at 8pm ET/5pm PT on March 11th, as well as on iHeartMedia radio stations across the country and on the iHeartRadio app. The show will feature live performances from today’s superstar performers, once-in-a-lifetime artist collaborations, celebrity guest appearances, and more. Don't miss it!
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