Liam Payne Says Being in One Direction ‘Nearly Killed’ Him
Liam Payne is opening up about the perils of fame.
The "Strip That Down" singer, who first catapulted into the public eye during his X-Factor audition at 14 years old, revealed during an interview with KISS FM that his fan-crazed run with the mega-popular One Direction "nearly killed" him.
After the band went on indefinite hiatus in 2016, Payne now 24, said he was hesitant to pursue a solo career in fear that it would bolster his existing stardom.
“There have been some tough times,” he explained. “When the band started our break I struggled with the idea of becoming famous again. It scared the living daylights out of me, because the last time it nearly killed me, frankly. So I had to figure out a way to make it work for me, rather than me work for it.”
Ultimately, though, he decided to press forward: He's released a string of singles over the course of the last year, including recent J Balvin team-up "Familiar," and his debut solo album is due out September 14.
He credits his friends and family for helping him to push on.
"I speak to a lot of people who are in the same position as me because I have grown up in the public eye," he continued. "I love my life, it’s been fantastic but there have been a lot of struggles to get to this point. It’s about having good people around you. They don’t have to be a psychologist – just people who are friendly, someone to talk to."
Payne was speaking in support of KISS FM’s Where’s Your Head At campaign, in a bid to raise awareness for Mental Health Awareness Week.