In 2015, One Direction — the boy band of all boy bands — went on an indefinite hiatus, crushing the hopes and dreams of teenage girls everywhere. It was truly a sad, sad time.
Since then, though, all of the members — most notably Harry Styles — have gone on to launch successful solo careers. (Can we all take a second to appreciate Styles’ new music video for “Golden”?) But now, one member in particular is stirring up drama with his most recent collab involving not a music industry veteran, but a TikTok star.
On Oct. 27, former One Direction member Liam Payne announced via Twitter that he had a Christmas track coming down the pike called “Naughty List.”
“I’m releasing a new single THIS FRIDAY to get you in the festive mood this year!” he said. “It’s called #NaughtyList … and as an early present you can hear part of the track on TikTok NOW.”
At first, fans were excited for Payne’s jolly track, even if it is being released several weeks early. However, not long after he announced the existence and release of the track, fan pages started to leak more information about the mysterious track — most notably, that the other artist featured on it was none other than TikTok star Dixie D’Amelio.
D’Amelio herself seemed to confirm this with a TikTok duet on Oct. 28 in which she lip-syncs to the snippet of the track that Payne released early. Her boyfriend, fellow TikToker Noah Beck, even commented on the video saying that he was “so proud” of her.
Though D’Amelio has dabbled in music before — her debut song, “Be Happy,” got the remix treatment by Blackbear and Lil Mosey — many fans were still upset to hear that Payne, a seasoned music industry professional, decided to collaborate with an internet personality.
“That’s so embarrassing for him,” one TikTok user named Annabel said about the collaboration. “Liam is a full-on celebrity who was in one of the biggest boybands EVER. He could get literally anyone to work with him and he chooses a 19-year-old TikToker who has had no vocal coaching and has no music career experience besides one song that she didn’t even write, she just sang.”
“It’s making him seem less credible of an artist, and I think people already take him the least seriously out of the 1D boys,” she continued. “Someone get this man a new manager because who thought this was a good idea.”
“I don’t have anything against Dixie but it’s just so random???” another user named Diana added. “But it doesn’t sound bad … bop nonetheless.”
“This angers me,” a third person wrote on Twitter. “She does absolutely nothing and gets everything handed to her. Like this is THE king Liam Payne. Just no.”
D’Amelio, for her part, has many fans coming to her defense, noting that this is a career-defining opportunity for her.
“If you were Dixie D’Amelio and a member of 1D said ‘Hey wanna collab?’ would you not jump at the chance?'” one person wrote. “You would. It doesn’t make [Payne] ‘look bad.’ Dixie is popular with young kids. If anything it’ll boost him back up.”
“Dixie is cool and has a decent voice,” another user added. “Also also Liam can make music with whoever he wants … also also it’s literally just a Christmas song.”
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