One Direction received a song from American Idol winner after Simon Cowell intervened

Niall Horan reflects on time in One Direction with Dermot O’Leary

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In 2011 One Direction were still relatively new on the pop scene. The quintet had just come third on the ITV talent show X Factor and were working on releasing their debut album, Up All Night. Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson and Niall Horan had previously released What Makes You Beautiful as a single and were looking for more songs to add to their repertoire.

Speaking in 2012, iconic American singer Kelly Clarkson revealed she was asked to write a song for the up-and-coming boyband.

Kelly rose to fame a decade earlier when she won the first season of American Idol in 2002.

The Texan singer released her debut album, Breakaway, two years later which included incredible hits including Since U Been Gone, Because of You and the record’s title song, Breakaway.

During her career, Kelly has achieved six platinum-selling albums and now hosts her own talk show – The Kelly Clarkson Show.

Before swapping the stage for the couch, Kelly was approached by American Idol and X Factor creator Simon Cowell to write something for his new act, 1D.

Kelly said in an interview: “When Simon Cowell put me forward to write for One Direction I said: ‘Let me hear them first.’”

The singer, who was 29-years-old at the time, agreed and wrote the song Tell Me A Lie for the band.

1D put the single on their debut album, Up All Night, which was released on November 18, 2011.

Kelly revealed: “Simon has been really supportive since I won American Idol. Tell Me a Lie is the cut I’ve got on 1D’s album, as I like the story of them, how they came together as a group.”

She also said: “While I wrote the song for me, it didn’t fit in the current album, as I never want an album to sound like one thought.”

Her album at the time was the fifth record, Stronger, which was released on October 21, 2011.

Years later, when questioned about One Direction’s version of her song, she called it “cute” and added she was “glad” the band enjoyed singing the track.

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Kelly also gave her insight into the band’s success in the US – something British artists have traditionally struggled with.

She said: “One Direction have worked so well in America as well as the UK because people love a story, plus they have this innocence about them that attracts people.”

The singer added: “There’s a lot of British talent doing well in America right now. I’m a huge fan of Ellie Goulding and Jessie J.”

Despite receiving the track from a supremely successful artist such as Kelly, One Direction never released Tell Me A Lie as a single.

One Direction’s album, however, was a staggering success. Within 12 months it was the third best-selling album in the entire world, claiming more than 4.5 million sales.

Up All Night went 3x platinum and reached number two in the UK Album Charts.

It subsequently reached number one in the US, Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand and Sweden Album Charts.


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