Who is Louis Tomlinson?
Louis William Tomlinson is an English pop singer, one of the members of the boy band ‘One Direction’. A young and dynamic performer, he is the heartthrob of millions of teenage girls across the globe and is especially very popular in his native England. He was exposed to the show business at a young age. When he was 11, his baby sisters landed minor roles on the television comedy ‘Fat Friends’ and he accompanied them to the sets where he was also cast as an extra. Excited after this incident, he began taking acting lessons and started appearing on television dramas in small roles. Good looking and talented, he was also interested in singing and songwriting. Throughout his school days he remained active in school musical productions and did not focus much on academics. He auditioned for the seventh series of the singing competition ‘The X Factor’ in 2010. He successfully cleared the initial rounds but was eliminated before the final round. However, the judges recognized his potential and teamed him up with four other participants to form a group act. The group, which also included Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Liam Payne and Zayn Malik, adopted the name One Direction and clinched a deal with Simon Cowell's music label. The group quickly gained popularity in the UK and before long became internationally famous as well.
In 2009, he auditioned for the television talent competition ‘The X Factor’ but was turned down. Undaunted, he auditioned again in 2010 and successfully entered the competition. He cleared many of the rounds but was eliminated before the final round.
The judges, however, united him with his fellow competitors Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Liam Payne and Zayn Malik to form a group act. The boys named the group One Direction. Their performance greatly pleased Simon Cowell who recognized the boy’s potential and gave them a contract with his music label.
One Direction’s first single, ‘What Makes You Beautiful’ was released in September 2011 in the UK and became a No. 1 hit. Their debut album ‘Up All Night’ was released in the UK in late 2011, followed by a worldwide release during 2012. It proved to be a big hit and established each one of the boys as youth icons.
In 2012, the band released the album ‘Take Me Home’. The songs in the album revolve around the themes of falling in love, unrequited love, commitment, and jealousy. It garnered mostly positive reviews from critics and topped the charts in more than 35 countries, and was globally the fourth best-selling album of 2012.
Their next album too was received with great enthusiasm by their fans. Released in 2013, ‘Midnight Memories’ debuted at No. 1 on the US Billboard 200, No. 1on the Irish Albums Chart and No. 2 on the Dutch Albums Chart. It featured the super-hit singles ‘Best Song Ever’ and ‘Story of My Life’.
The 2014 too proved to be a great one for the youngsters who continued with their success streak with the release of the album ‘Four’. The singles ‘Steal My Girl’ and ‘Night Changes’ achieved platinum status in the US. The album received positive reviews from critics and debuted at No. 1 in 18 countries.
The band’s latest album, ‘Made in the A.M’ (2015), featuring hit singles like ‘Drag Me Down’ and ‘Perfect’ was also a tremendous hit. It debuted at No. 1 on the UK Albums Chart with and at No. 2 on the US Billboard 200. One Direction announced that they would be taking a break in 2016 so that the members can work on their individual careers.
In 2017, Tomlinson released the single "Back to You". The song was a big hit and peaked at number 8 on the UK Singles Chart.
In 2018, he was chosen as one of the judges for the fifteenth series of The X Factor.
Early life and family
Louis William Tomlinson was born in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, England to Johannah "Jay" Poulston and Troy Austin, who split up when he was a toddler. He has some Belgian ancestry. He is estranged from his father and later took on his then stepfather Mark Tomlinson's surname. He was raised with four younger half-sisters; Charlotte, Félicité (2000–2019), and twins Phoebe and Daisy from Poulston's marriage to Mark.Later he has two more half siblings, twins Doris and Ernest (born 2014) from Poulston's relationship to Dan Deakin, whom she later married. He also has one paternal half-sister, Georgia.
Tomlinson attended The Hayfield School and later Hall Cross School (now Hall Cross Academy), both located in Doncaster. He failed his first year of A levels at the Hayfield School and ended up going to Hall Cross School and starting his 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, which 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.
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 few singles 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 with Phil Neville at Niall Horan Charity Football Challenge, 2014.
Tomlinson with Mark Wright at Niall Horan Charity Football Challenge, 2014.
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.
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.
Tomlinson shared donation links, made donations himself, and voiced his support for the Black Lives Matter movement in May and June 2020. He attended the George Floyd protests in London with his girlfriend Eleanor Calder.
Tomlinson began dating then-student Eleanor Calder in November 2011. They split in March 2015, but got back together in early 2017. 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 on 21 January 2016. Tomlinson was in a relationship with actress Danielle Campbell from November 2015 to December 2016.
In December 2016, Tomlinson's mother, Johannah Deakin, died of leukaemia. In March 2019, Tomlinson's younger sister, Félicité Tomlinson, died from an accidental overdose. Tomlinson owned a home in Los Angeles, but put it up for sale in 2020. He owns a home in Hertfordshire.
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 has created an altercation with a celebrity."
Louis Tomlinson - Back to You (Official Video) ft. Bebe Rexha, Digital Farm Animals
July 21, 2017
Louis Tomlinson - Director's Cut: We Made It (Official Video)
March 3, 2020
Louis Tomlinson - Don't Let It Break Your Heart (Official Video)
December 2, 2019
Louis Tomlinson - Kill My Mind (Official Video)
September 13, 2019
Louis Tomlinson - Miss You (Official Video)
December 8, 2017