Louis William Tomlinson (/ /; né Austin; 24 December 1991) is an English singer and songwriter. He rose to fame as a member of the boy band One Direction after beginning his career as an actor, appearing as an extra in ITV drama film If I Had You and the BBC drama Waterloo Road. In 2010, he auditioned as a solo contestant on the British music competition series The X Factor. He was eliminated as a solo performer before he was put into a group with four other contestants, forming One Direction. The band has released five albums, embarked on four world tours, and won nearly 200 awards.
Tomlinson at the 2014 ARIA Awards
Louis Troy Austin
24 December 1991
|Net worth||£45 million|
|Partner(s)||Eleanor Calder (2011–2015, 2017–present)|
Following the group's hiatus in 2016, "Just Hold On" was released as Tomlinson's debut single as a solo artist in December 2016, it peaked at number two on the UK Singles Chart and was certified platinum in the UK. In 2017, Tomlinson released "Back to You" with American singer Bebe Rexha and "Miss You".
In 2018 Tomlinson appeared on the fifteenth series of The X Factor as a judge and a mentor of the "Boys" category. He became the first former contestant of the show to become the winning mentor due to his mentee Dalton Harris winning the show. In 2019 Tomlinson released "Two of Us", "Kill My Mind", "We Made It" and "Don't Let It Break Your Heart". In 2020 Tomlinson released "Walls", the title track of his debut solo album. The album Walls was released on 31 January 2020.
In 2013, Tomlinson was signed as a footballer by Doncaster Rovers of the Football League Championship on a non-contract basis. The same year he also formed his own record label, Triple Strings, as an imprint of One Direction's label Syco. He appeared on Debrett's 2017 list of the most influential people in the UK.
Tomlinson was born in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, to Johannah "Jay" Poulston and Troy Austin, who split up when he was a toddler. He is estranged from his father. He later took on his then stepfather Mark Tomlinson's name. He has seven half siblings. His mother died, after a short battle with leukaemia, in December 2016. His half sister, Félicité, died in 2019, as a result of cardiac arrest.
Tomlinson was a sixth form student at Hall Cross School and is a former pupil of the Hayfield School. He failed his first year of A levels at the Hayfield School and ended up going back to Hall Cross and starting A levels again. He had a number of jobs, including at a Vue cinema and at Doncaster Rovers football stadium as a waiter in the hospitality suites. Tomlinson, along with two of his siblings, had extra roles in Fat Friends. After Fat Friends, he attended an acting school in Barnsley. He had small parts in an ITV drama film If I Had You and BBC's Waterloo Road. At Hall Cross, Tomlinson appeared in several musical productions. He admitted to not applying himself academically in school, but he thoroughly enjoyed being with his friends and being involved with musical productions. Taking the lead role of Danny Zuko in the Hall Cross musical production of Grease motivated him to audition for The X Factor.
2010: The X Factor
As a student at Hall Cross, Tomlinson appeared in several musical productions. Being involved with musical productions at Hall Cross gave him a growing sense of ambition and determination. Taking the lead role of Danny Zuko in the Hall Cross musical production of Grease motivated him to audition for The X Factor. Tomlinson later said in a 2017 interview that another motivation for him auditioning for The X Factor was because the band he was in before One Direction, when he was just 14, kicked him out after a new boy came to the school and decided to replace him as their vocalist. Tomlinson auditioned for The X Factor in 2009 where he failed to progress past the producer's audition, but this minor defeat only gave him the determination to return the following year.
In 2010, Tomlinson auditioned for the seventh series of the singing competition The X Factor in front of main judges Simon Cowell and Louis Walsh and guest judge Nicole Scherzinger. He sang "Hey There Delilah" by the Plain White T's and received three yeses from the judges, sending him through to bootcamp. He failed to progress to the "Boys" category at the end of the final bootcamp stage of the competition at Wembley Arena, London, in July 2010. However, after a suggestion from Scherzinger, he was put together with Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne and Harry Styles to form a five-piece boy band, thus qualifying for the "Groups" category at judges' houses, mentored by Cowell. Subsequently, the group got together for two weeks to get to know each other and to practise. Styles came up with the name One Direction. For their qualifying song at judges' houses and their first song as a group, One Direction sang an acoustic version of "Torn" by Natalie Imbruglia. Cowell chose to put them through to the live shows and later commented that the performance convinced him that the group "were confident, fun, like a gang of friends and kind of fearless as well." Within the first four weeks of the live shows, the group became Cowell's last act in the competition and quickly gained popularity in the UK. One Direction finished in third place and immediately after the final their song "Forever Young", which would have been released if they had won The X Factor, was leaked onto the internet.
2011–2015: One Direction
Following The X Factor it was confirmed that One Direction had been signed by Cowell to a reported £2 million Syco Records record contract. They immediately started working on their debut album. In February 2011, a book licensed by One Direction, One Direction: Forever Young (Our Official X Factor Story), was released and topped The Sunday Times' Best Seller list. That same month, the boy band and other contestants from the series participated in The X Factor Live Tour. During the tour, the group performed for 500,000 people throughout the UK. After the tour concluded in April 2011, One Direction continued working on their debut album. Recording took place in Stockholm, London and Los Angeles, as One Direction worked with producers Carl Falk, Savan Kotecha, Steve Mac and Rami Yacoub, among others.
In September 2011, One Direction's debut single, "What Makes You Beautiful", was released. A global and commercial success, it reached number one in several countries including the UK. That November, their debut studio album, Up All Night was released in the UK and Ireland. Released internationally in 2012, One Direction became the first UK group to have their debut album reach number one in the USA. Following the album's release, they headlined the Up All Night Tour. Originally, the tour was to solely take place in the UK and Ireland, but shows in Australia and North America were added due to demand. The tour was a commercial success with tickets selling out in minutes and critics raving about the group's singing abilities and stage presence. A video album of the tour, Up All Night: The Live Tour, was released in May 2012. That same month, One Direction's first book to be licensed in America, Dare to Dream: Life as One Direction, was published and topped The New York Times Best Seller list. In September 2012, the band released the song "Live While We're Young", the lead single from their second album. Another single, "Little Things", spawned the band's second number one single in the UK. Two months later, One Direction's second album, Take Me Home, was released, reaching number one in over 35 countries. Reaching number one on the Billboard 200, the group became the first boy band in US chart history to record two number-one albums in the same calendar year alongside becoming the first group since 2008 to record two number-one albums in the same year. After the album's release, the band embarked on the Take Me Home Tour. The tour took place in North America, Europe, Oceania, and Asia, grossing $114 million from 123 shows. In August 2013, One Direction: This Is Us, a 3-D documentary concert film was released, accumalting a box office gross of $68.5 million. One Direction's third book, One Direction: Where We Are: Our Band, Our Story: 100% Official, was released that same month.
On 25 November 2013, One Direction released Midnight Memories, their third studio album, which became the best-selling album worldwide in 2013 with 4 million copies sold globally. "Best Song Ever", the album's lead single, is their highest charting single in the US to date. In April 2014, the band began their third headlining concert tour, and their first all-stadium tour, the Where We Are Tour. Tickets were reported to sell out in minutes, and more shows were added due to "overwhelming demand". Performing 69 shows in Europe, North America, and South America, the band averaged 49,848 fans per show. Grossing over $290 million, the tour was the highest-grossing tour of 2014, the 15th highest-grossing concert tour of all time and is still the highest-grossing tour of all time by a vocal group. In September 2014, One Direction's fourth book, One Direction: Who We Are: Our Official Autobiography was released. One Direction: Where We Are – The Concert Film, the group's second concert film, was released in October 2014. In November 2014, One Direction's fourth album, Four, was released, making it the last album to feature Zayn Malik. Singles included "Steal My Girl" and "Night Changes", both of which achieved platinum status. Debuting at number one in 18 countries, over 3.2 million copies of the album were sold. One Direction became the only group in the 58-year history of the Billboard 200 albums chart to have their first four albums debut at number one. In support of the album, the set off on the On the Road Again Tour, grossing $208 million. In November 2015, One Direction's fifth album, Made in the A.M., was released. Singles "Drag Me Down" and "Perfect" both debuted at number one in various countries, and the album reached number one in multiple countries, including the UK, and it reached number two on the US Billboard 200. Following the release of the album, the group went on an indefinite hiatus.
Often described as forming part of a new "British Invasion" in the United States, the group have sold over 35 million records worldwide, according to the band's management company, Modest! Management. Their achievements include seven BRIT Awards, seven American Music Awards, and four MTV Video Music Awards. According to Nick Gatfield, chairman and chief executive of Sony Music Entertainment UK, One Direction represented a $50 million business empire by June 2012. They were proclaimed 2012's "Top New Artist" by Billboard. Tomlinson, along with his other band members, appeared in an episode of iCarly in spring 2012.
2016–present: Solo projects and Walls
Tomlinson again appeared on The X Factor during the twelfth series in 2015, assisting mentor and label boss Cowell with his decisions in the "Over 26s" category during the judges' houses stage. Tomlinson also indicated he would be interested in becoming a permanent X Factor judge during the group's hiatus if he was asked. In 2015, Tomlinson created his own record label, Triple Strings Ltd, as an imprint of his current label Syco. It was reported he was working with Cowell to create a girl band and held auditions in 2015. One Direction went on a planned hiatus starting in March 2016 to pursue individual projects following the release of their fifth album, Made in the A.M.. Tomlinson released "Just Hold On", a collaborative effort with American DJ Steve Aoki on 10 December 2016. Tomlinson and Aoki performed the song live for the first time on The X Factor thirteenth series final on the day of its release. Tomlinson dedicated the song and performance to his late mother. The single debuted and peaked at number 2 on the UK Singles Chart and reached number one on the Billboard Dance/Electronic Digital Song Sales chart.
In July 2017, Tomlinson released the single "Back to You" featuring Bebe Rexha and Digital Farm Animals. The song peaked at number 8 on the UK Singles Chart and number 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Later, it was announced that Tomlinson had signed a record deal with Epic Records. In October 2017 Tomlinson released a promotional single "Just Like You" which peaked at 99 on UK Official Charts. Following that he released his second solo single "Miss You" in December 2017 which peaked at 39 on the UK Charts.
On 17 July 2018, it was announced that he would judge alongside Cowell and fellow new judges Robbie Williams and Ayda Field on the fifteenth series of The X Factor. Tomlinson mentored the "Boys" category, and chose Dalton Harris, Armstrong Martins, Brendan Murray, and Anthony Russell to go through to the live shows. Tomlinson subsequently became the show's first former contestant to secure a victory as the winning mentor during the final when Harris won the show. In February 2019, it was announced that Tomlinson had signed with newly-relaunched Arista Records; his first release under the label, "Two of Us", was released on 7 March 2019. In August 2019, he announced that his debut solo album will be released in early 2020. Tomlinson released a single, "Kill My Mind", on 5 September 2019.
On 23 October 2019, Tomlinson released another single, "We Made It". That same day, he also announced that he would be embarking on the Louis Tomlinson World Tour, spanning over five months and visiting 20 different countries. Furthermore, he announced that his debut album is titled Walls and is to be released on 31 January 2020. On 23 November 2019, Tomlinson released "Don't Let It Break Your Heart", the fourth single from his debut album. On 17 January 2020, he released "Walls", the fifth and the final single from his debut album. On 31 January 2020, his debut solo album Walls was released. The album received mixed reviews, and debuted at number 4 on the UK Albums Chart and number 9 on the Billboard 200 chart. Tomlinson was set to embark on tour for the majority of 2020, but was forced to postpone nearly every date due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In July, he announced the rescheduled dates for 2021.
In July 2020, Tomlinson announced that he had parted ways with Syco Music; he further announced he had begun writing his next album.
Tomlinson contributed more in songwriting to One Direction than any other band member with songwriting credits on the majority of the later 3 albums, Midnight Memories, Four, and Made in the A.M., and on a total of 38 songs across the band's discography, including six hit singles and two songs, "No Control" and "Home", that became the subjects of fan-created promotional projects. Savan Kotecha credits Tomlinson with "leading the charge" in shifting 1D's music towards a more mature sound.
Tomlinson's early influences and favourite artists include Robbie Williams, The Fray, and Ed Sheeran. In an interview with Now magazine, he said: "I've always loved Robbie. He's just so cheeky, he can get away with anything. His performances are unbelievable." He described Sheeran as "phenomenal".
For his solo music, Tomlinson's first five singles have ranged in genre, beginning with EDM and synthpop before shifting towards a rockier sound. In an interview with BBC Music following the release of "Miss You", Tomlinson said lyrically his debut album is inspired by Arctic Monkeys and Oasis. He has also cited an admiration for and inspiration from Sam Fender, Amy Winehouse, Catfish and the Bottlemen, and James. He declared:
My whole mission with this album is to not write these Hollywood-esque songs that talk about some unfathomable crazy love story. I'm so bored of that... Because I'm from up north, I grew up loving the likes of the Arctic Monkeys and Oasis. And the way they tell stories is such an effortless thing. It's real, it's honest and it's to the point, you know? Now, any of the Arctic Monkeys would be devastated to hear me talking like this, but there is a way of incorporating that conversational honesty into pop.
On a review of "Kill My Mind", MTV News wrote "Louis Tomlinson sounds like the Britpop star he was born to be." His music style has been referred to as indie rock, soft rock, indie pop, Britpop, pop punk, pop rock and pop.
Tomlinson, whose previous football experience had been to play and run his own pub team called Three Horseshoes, had agreed to play in a charity game at the Keepmoat Stadium in his home town of Doncaster to raise money for the Bluebell Wood Charity and was offered a deal by professional football club Doncaster Rovers to join the club on non-contract terms after impressing in the game. The deal was brokered for Tomlinson to be a development player and to participate in reserve games, working around his music commitments with One Direction. He was given the squad number 28 for the 2013–14 season. Tomlinson said of the move: "It's unbelievable really. I have been a massive football fan for a long time and growing up in Doncaster, I've been to plenty of games at the Keepmoat. To be part of the club is incredible." Rovers manager Paul Dickov joked, "He's missed pre-season training and he's having a holiday in America, so we'd better get him over here pretty soon."
On 3 September 2013, it was announced that Tomlinson would make his debut for Doncaster's Reserve team in their Central League fixture against the Scunthorpe United reserve team on 18 September. Doncaster announced that despite the fixture being a reserve game they would be setting up a special ticket line for the match. On 8 September, Tomlinson played for Celtic in another charity match for Stiliyan Petrov. During the game Tomlinson was injured following a tackle by Aston Villa and England striker Gabriel Agbonlahor and was substituted straight away. The tackle consequently caused Agbonlahor to receive abuse from One Direction fans on his Twitter account, and brought an apology from the player. As a result of injuries sustained in the match, Tomlinson was then forced to pull out of the Scunthorpe match, relegating himself to the bench, but promising that the match would be rescheduled.
His rescheduled debut for Doncaster's reserve side in the Central League came as a 65th-minute substitute in a 0–0 game against Rotherham United on 26 February 2014, a charity match in aid of Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice attended by a crowd in excess of 4,000. Tomlinson later participated in bandmate Niall Horan's Charity Football Challenge on 26 May 2014, at the King Power Stadium.
On 19 June 2014, Tomlinson and former chairman John Ryan confirmed they had taken over as joint-owners of Doncaster Rovers. It was later announced the takeover had fallen through, though Tomlinson continues to be involved with the club.
Tomlinson returned to Celtic Park on 7 September 2014, to take part in the MAESTRIO Charity Match, having been recruited to play for Rio Ferdinand's All-Stars against Paul McStay's Maestros. The match was attended by a crowd of around 25,000 with proceeds benefiting several charities including UNICEF, War Child, the Celtic Foundation and the Rio Ferdinand Foundation.
Whilst One Direction has put forth group efforts towards charity work, Tomlinson himself has also been involved in charity work outside the band. He, along with band member Payne, co-hosted a charity ball held in honour of Believe in Magic, an organisation that supports terminally ill children. Both Tomlinson and Payne got in a bidding war at the charity ball which resulted in Tomlinson donating £10,000 for Payne's face to be painted. He personally donated £2 million to Believe in Magic, while collectively he and Payne donated over £5 million. Fellow band members Niall Horan and Harry Styles could not attend the event, but also donated items to be auctioned off for Believe in Magic.
Tomlinson has been involved with charity work for several years. He has been thoroughly involved with Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice and is one their patrons. Tomlinson tends to get active social media to help boost support and awareness for his charity work. For his 23rd birthday, One Direction fans established a donation drive for Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice and set the bar high for the donation target. Tomlinson also turned to social media along with some of his family members for the charity Niamh's Next Step. This gained the charity several hundred followers on their Twitter account which drew in more awareness to the cause. During One Direction's hiatus, Tomlinson wants to increase his charity work with his newly found free time. He says about the charity work: "Being my age and being able to be in a position where I can help people out and give opportunities to other people is the most exciting thing to me." According to Sarah Hext, whose son Harvey and family were personally supported by Tomlinson and his mother, "People don't know the real Louis, Jay has told me that when Louis suffers a bad press day he says to her 'come on mum, lets make someone happy today.' That's the kind of man Louis is."
In April 2016, Tomlinson was announced to be joining the Soccer Aid 2016 star line-up, an biennial fundraiser for the children's organisation UNICEF. He played for the England squad alongside Robbie Williams, Olly Murs, Paddy McGuinness, Jack Whitehall, Marvin Humes, John Bishop and others on 5 June 2016. Tomlinson played against his bandmate Niall Horan, who appeared for the Rest of the World team.
In July 2015, it was reported that Tomlinson was expecting a baby with then 23-year-old stylist, Briana Jungwirth. On 4 August 2015, on Good Morning America, the reports were confirmed. Tomlinson and Jungwirth welcomed a son, Freddie Reign, on 21 January 2016.
On 4 March 2017, an altercation at Los Angeles International Airport involving a paparazzo and aggressive fans waiting for the singer resulted in Tomlinson being detained by airport security and initially being charged with a misdemeanor, posting bail soon after. The matter was reportedly resolved by April 2017 and charges against Tomlinson were dropped, citing the footage of the events captured by another paparazzo that had surfaced soon after. Tomlinson's lawyer Marty Singer said in a statement to Rolling Stone, "The paparazzi provoked and caused the altercation with Louis at the airport this morning. This is not the first or the last time that a paparazzi [sic] has created an altercation with a celebrity."
|2013||One Direction: This Is Us||Himself||Documentary concert film|
|2014||Where We Are – The Concert Film||Himself||Concert film|
|2006||If I Had You||Boy Finding Body||Television film|
|2012||iCarly||Himself||Episode: "iGo One Direction"|
|2016||Family Guy||Episode: "Run, Chris, Run"|
|2018||The X Factor||Judge||Series 15|
- Walls (2020)
Awards and nominations
|Radio Disney Music Awards||Best Collaboration||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Music: Collaboration – "Just Hold On"||Won|||
|Choice Electronic/Dance Song||Nominated|
|Choice Male Hottie||Nominated|
|BreakTudo Awards||New Artist International||Won|||
|MTV Europe Music Awards||Best UK Act||Won|||
|2018||IARA Awards||Best Male Artist||Nominated|||
|iHeartRadio Music Awards||Best Solo Breakout||Won|||
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Male Artist||Won|||
|2019||National Television Awards||TV Judge||Nominated|
|Billboard Music Awards||Top Social Artist||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Single:Male Artist||Won|||
|BreakTudo Awards||International Fandom||Nominated|||
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