Pop Stars Gone Solo

 

Hit the beat with 3 pop stars who broke away from their groups and climbed the charts solo

 

We all love a good group act, especially when it’s composed of a bunch of good-looking, golden-voiced guys who know how to churn out hits you can’t seem to get out of your head. But every once in a while, there are standout talents in a group that just can’t be contained—and once we all get over the initial shock of the disbanding or seeming defection, we realize the music scene is all the better for these guys going solo. Here are our favourite stars that transcended their early starts and hit it even bigger.

 

Justin Timberlake

 

Artist formerly known as:

1/5 of early 2000’s most bankable boyband, NSYNC

 

Must-listen tracks:

Like I Love You,” “Cry Me a River,” “Senorita”

Fans always knew Justin was the heart, soul, and charm of the group, so no one was surprised at his decision to work on his own music. But no one could’ve predicted just how big of a hit JT would be—his song “Like I Love You,” his first solo cut released in 2002, topped the charts and everyone’s playlists for a long, long time. He’s been on fire ever since (who can forget “Sexyback”? Or “Suit and Tie”?), with live performances, TV guestings, and even movie roles keeping him at the peak of the A-list.

 

Nick Jonas

 

Artist formerly known as:

The youngest Jonas brother

 

Must-listen tracks:

Jealous,” “Close”

Baby-faced Nick had actually already done some solo work before he and his two older brothers broke out into the scene, but as a trio, their success paved the way for later acts like One Direction and 5 Seconds of Summer. Now all grown up, Nick released his own album and made it big with his single “Jealous”—an entirely new and unexpected sound that made us all sit up and take notice.

 

Zayn Malik

 

Artist formerly known as:

One of the cuties of mega-group One Direction

 

Must-listen tracks:

PILLOWTALK,” “BeFour”

1D will never be the same after Zayn’s departure, but if PILLOWTALK is any indication of what he is planning to do with his talent, we’re pretty sure the fans will forgive him. A catchy riff showcasing his vocal chops, a steamy video featuring real-life girlfriend Gigi Hadid, and a more mature (read: sexier) look has us convinced Zayn Malik is making a name for himself in a big way, and he will definitely be here to stay.