Best known as a member of English boy band One Direction, pop vocalist Louis Tomlinson embarked on a solo career after the group ended their record-breaking, early-2010s run in 2016. After years of releasing singles and appearing on The X Factor -- the same show that pushed him into the limelight -- he released his official debut album, Walls, in 2020.

Born Louis Troy Austin in Doncaster, England, he shot to stardom after appearing on the 2010 edition of The X Factor. He attended school in his hometown, where, by his own admission, he didn't pay that much attention academically; instead, he was drawn to anything related to music and acting; he played the role of Danny Zuko in his school production of Grease. His active role in the musical motivated him to audition for The X Factor in 2009, but he failed to make the cut. Undeterred, Tomlinson auditioned the following year, this time making it through the preliminary stages. Initially, he performed as a solo act, but just as he and four others -- Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Niall Horan, and Zayn Malik -- were set to be ejected from the solo competition, guest judge Nicole Scherzinger suggested bringing them together and allowing them to continue as One Direction in the group competition. Although One Direction came in third on the show, they went on to become one of The X Factor's biggest success stories, regularly topping charts worldwide and selling over 50 million records within a decade. Outside of the band, Tomlinson gained a reputation for philanthropy, as he constantly campaigned for, and donated to, various charities.

In early 2016, One Direction began an indefinite hiatus, giving the individual members time to pursue their own interests. For Tomlinson, this included becoming a father. Later that year, he released his debut solo single, the platinum-certified "Just Hold On," a collaboration with Steve Aoki. Months later, he hit a U.S. chart peak with "Back to You," a group effort with Bebe Rexha and Digital Farm Animals. He continued into 2019 with a series of singles that eventually landed on his official full-length debut. Arriving in early 2020, Walls (Syco/Arista) featured a distinct Brit-pop influence, echoing U.K. forebears like Robbie Williams and Oasis. ~ Liam Martin, Rovi

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Louis Tomlinson - Back to You (Official Video) ft. Bebe Rexha, Digital Farm Animals
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Louis Tomlinson Answers the Web's Most Searched Questions | WIRED
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