Did Liam Payne’s ‘Strip That Down’ really outsell all other 1D solo songs?

One Direction Solo Songs

Everyone enjoys the occasional post-boy-band drama. When they end, we can’t help but wonder what might have possibly gone wrong behind the scenes. One Direction, once the talk of town, has had a rather graceless post-mortem period. 

The latest of the many dramas surrounding Niall, Liam, Harry, Louis, and Zayn has the internet on fire. The cause is Liam Payne’s partaking in Logan Paul’s Podcast Impaulsive where he decided to get bold and dish out on band secrets, as well as give his two cents on ex-member Zayn Malik’s personal controversies. 

One of Liam’s hottest takes is that his debut solo single “Strip That Down” outsold all his bandmate’s solo efforts. In all fairness, despite Liam not being the most eloquent speaker, it did seem that when he said “I think it outsold everyone within the band, and I was the last to go [solo],” he meant up to the point of the release of“Strip That Down”. That would exclude subsequent singles by Liam’s ex-bandmates like the Grammy-winning “Watermelon Sugar”, which has obviously done better than “Strip That Down”. 

What about Zayn’s solo career inaugurating “PILLOWTALK”? Harry’s “Sign Of The Times”? Did “Strip That Down” really do better than every other song by a previous One Direction member? 

Liam specifically mentioned the song hitting one billion streams, which he tweeted about back in January 2018. In this tweet he specifies that this number is pertaining to “global” streams, most likely across all streaming platforms. 

This certainly adds up considering that, if we’re talking just Spotify streams then, as of the time this article is being written, “Strip That Down” has only 886 million. Both Harry Styles’ and Zayn’s first solo singles, “Sign Of The Times” and “PILLOWTALK”, for instance, have surpassed one billion streams on the Sweden-born platform, which, in theory, would also mean that their global streams outnumber that of “Strip That Down”.

The question here, then, would be which song reached one billion global streams faster? Liam claims it was his. 

There’s only one month separating the “Strip That Down” and “Sign Of The Times” release dates. “PILLOWTALK”, however, had been around for over a year by the time “Strip That Down” came out, and taking its major success into account, it’s hard to conceive a scenario where ZAYN’s song wouldn’t have hit one billion streams across platforms by the time Liam’s single arrived. 

It could also be the case that Liam was only talking about the members that were in the band by the time it broke up. In that case, “Sign Of The Times” would be the only real competitor for “Strip That Down”, since neither Niall Horan or Louis Tomlinson’s solo music has the numbers to compete. This is the only scenario where Liam’s statement could be truthful, and even then the race is so tight, it’s a tough call. 

One thing is certain, though. “Strip That Down” is far from being the most successful solo song by a One Direction member of all time, especially after Harry’s career completely took off with his Fine Line album. Let’s take a look at One Direction members’ best-performing solo songs as of right now, and find out just where “Strip That Down” lands.

13. “For You (Fifty Shades Freed)” – Liam Payne & Rita Ora (released 5 January 2018)

Spotify Streams: 383 million

YouTube Views (Music Video): 359 million

Highest charting position on Billboard Hot 100: #76 (weeks on chart: 3)

Highest charting position on UK’s Official Charts: #8 (weeks on chart: 17)

BRIT Certified Platinum

12. “Just Hold On” – Louis Tomlinson & Steve Aoki (released 10 December 2016)

Spotify Streams: 480 million

YouTube Views (Music Video): 351 million

Highest charting position on Billboard Hot 100: #52 (weeks on chart: 6)

Highest charting position on UK’s Official Charts: #2 (weeks on chart: 15)

BRIT Certified Platinum

RIAA Certified Gold

11. “Back To You” – Louis Tomlinson feat. Bebe Rexha & Digital Farm Animals (released 21 July 2017)

Spotify Streams: 524 million

YouTube Views (Music Video): 476 million

Highest charting position on Billboard Hot 100: #40 (weeks on chart: 10)

Highest charting position on UK’s Official Charts: #8 (weeks on chart: 14)

BRIT Certified Platinum

RIAA Certified Platinum

10. “As It Was” – Harry Styles (released 1 April 2022)

Spotify Streams: 610 million

YouTube Views (Music Video): 157 million

Highest charting position on Billboard Hot 100: #1 for four weeks (weeks on chart: 8)

Highest charting position on UK’s Official Charts: #1 for eight weeks (weeks on chart: 8)

RIAA Certified Platinum

9. “This Town” – Niall Horan (released 29 September 2016)

Spotify Streams: 636 million

YouTube Views (Music Video): 65 million

Highest charting position on Billboard Hot 100: #20 (weeks on chart: 22)

Highest charting position on UK’s Official Charts: #9 (weeks on chart: 13)

BRIT Certified Platinum

RIAA Certified 2x Platinum

8. “Slow Hands” – Niall Horan (released 4 May 2017)

Spotify Streams: 760 million

YouTube Views (Music Video): 220 million

Highest charting position on Billboard Hot 100: #11 (weeks on chart: 31)

Highest charting position on UK’s Official Charts: #7 (weeks on chart: 29)

BRIT Certified 2x Platinum

RIAA Certified 3x Platinum

7. “Strip That Down feat. Quavo” – Liam Payne (released 19 May 2017)

Spotify Streams: 886 million

YouTube Views (Music Video): 365 million

Highest charting position on Billboard Hot 100: #10 (weeks on chart: 28)

Highest charting position on UK’s Official Charts: #3 (weeks on chart: 25)

BRIT Certified 2x Platinum

RIAA Certified 3x Platinum

6. “Adore You” – Harry Styles (released 6 December 2019)

Spotify Streams: 1 billion

YouTube Views (Music Video): 318 million

Highest charting position on Billboard Hot 100: #6 (weeks on chart: 50)

Highest charting position on UK’s Official Charts: #7 (weeks on chart: 40)

BRIT Certified 2x Platinum

RIAA Certified 4x Platinum

5. “Dusk Till Dawn” – Zayn feat. Sia (released 8 September 2017)

Spotify Streams: 1.2 billion

YouTube Views (Music Video): 1.8 billion

Highest charting position on Billboard Hot 100: #44 (weeks on chart: 17)

Highest charting position on UK’s Official Charts: #5 (weeks on chart: 24)

BRIT Certified 2x Platinum

RIAA Certified 2x Platinum

4. “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever (Fifty Shades Darker)” – Zayn & Taylor Swift (released 9 December 2016)

Spotify Streams: 1.2 billion

YouTube Views (Music Video): 668 million

Highest charting position on Billboard Hot 100: #2 (weeks on chart: 23)

Highest charting position on UK’s Official Charts: #5 (weeks on chart: 22)

BRIT Certified Platinum

RIAA Certified 4x Platinum

3. “Sign Of The Times” – Harry Styles (released 7 April 2017)

Spotify Streams: 1 billion

YouTube Views (Music Video): 980 million

Highest charting position on Billboard Hot 100: #4 (weeks on chart: 13)

Highest charting position on UK’s Official Charts: #1 for one week (weeks on chart: 27)

BRIT Certified 2x Platinum

RIAA Certified 4x Platinum

2. “PILLOWTALK” – Zayn (released 29 January 2016)

Spotify Streams: 1 billion

YouTube Views (Music Video): 1.1 billion

Highest charting position on Billboard Hot 100: #1 for one week (weeks on chart: 24)

Highest charting position on UK’s Official Charts: #1 for one week (weeks on chart: 28)

BRIT Certified 2x Platinum

RIAA Certified 5x Platinum

1. “Watermelon Sugar” – Harry Styles (released 15 May 2020)

Spotify Streams: 1.7 billion 

YouTube Views (Music Video): 298 million

Highest charting position on Billboard Hot 100: #1 for one week (weeks on chart: 39)

Highest charting position on UK’s Official Charts: #4 (weeks on chart: 88)

BRIT Certified 3x Platinum

RIAA Certified 5x Platinum