NEW YORK (AFP) - Liam Payne of One Direction revealed on Thursday (July 21) that he is working on a solo album, becoming the latest member of the boy band sensations to pursue his own career.
The 22-year-old heartthrob took to Twitter to announce that he had signed to Capitol Records to record his debut solo album.
"One Direction will always be my home and family but I'm very excited to see what this chapter brings," Payne said.
The announcement is certain to further predictions from One Direction's legions of pubescent fans that the band is no longer.
One Direction in November released its fifth studio album, Made In The A.M. with the group saying it was going on indefinite hiatus but not splitting up.
The band at that point had already seen the departure of founding member Zayn Malik who, shedding One Direction's squeaky clean image, released a racy, R&B-driven debut album, Mind Of Mine, in March.
Another One Direction member, Harry Styles, has reportedly also reached a lucrative recording deal with One Direction's label Columbia Records.
One Direction - whose ranks also include Louis Tomlinson and Niall Horan - emerged in 2010 when the then teenagers appeared on British television contest The X Factor.
The boy band went on to release an album of radio-ready pop each year in time for the holiday shopping season and became one of the highest-grossing live acts in the world.
Payne's deal marks a commercial coup for Capitol Records, a legendary label now under the Universal umbrella, as all other One Direction works have been on Sony marks.