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One Direction Ties The Beatles as Only Groups With Three Members With Solo No. 1 Albums
As Niall Horan debuts atop the Billboard 200 albums chart dated Nov. 11 with his first solo album, Flicker, he brings the total of One Direction members with solo No. 1s to three. In doing so, One Direction now matches The Beatles as the only groups to see three of its members top the Billboard 200 with solo albums.
Horan follows fellow One Direction member Harry Styles (with his self-titled debut earlier in 2017) and former group member Zayn (with his debut album, Mind of Mine, in 2016).
The Beatles spun off multiple solo No. 1s from George Harrison (two No. 1s), John Lennon (three No. 1s) and Paul McCartney (six No. 1s, including efforts alongside his band Wings).
Of course, both One Direction and The Beatles notched their own No. 1s on the chart as groups. One Direction led the list four times, while The Beatles hit No. 1 a record 19 times.
The only member of The Beatles without a solo No. 1 album is Ringo Starr, who has so far peaked at No. 2 (with his Ringo album in 1973).
There are still two members of One Direction yet to release a solo album: Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson. Both have charted songs in the past year, including a No. 1 on the Pop Songs airplay chart for Payne ("Strip That Down," featuring Quavo) and a No. 7 hit on the Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart for Tomlinson ("Just Hold On," with Steve Aoki).
Not included in our comparison of groups with the most solo members with No. 1s are supergroups such as Traveling Wilburys (with chart toppers Harrison, Bob Dylan and Tom Petty).
Special note should be made of the quasi-supergroup G-Unit, which released its first album in 2003 after its leader, 50 Cent, first topped the chart earlier that year with his major-label debut, Get Rich or Die Tryin’. The act also featured Lloyd Banks (who would later top the chart with his solo debut), and briefly included The Game (who also later hit No. 1 with his first solo album, though he never recorded with G-Unit on a commercially released album or song by the group).
— additional reporting by Xander Zellner