Is this the end of One Direction as we know it?
Liam Payne, one of the main songwriters in the British boy band, announced on Twitter on Thursday that he had signed a solo record deal with Capitol Records.
Payne’s cryptic tweets, which do not clarify if he is staying with the band or departing as a solo artist forever, have Directioners panicking that their beloved boy band is finished.
The group said back in 2015 that they would be going on a hiatus from March 2016 so that they could pursue solo careers. While no specific timeline has been announced, Harry Styles told reporters last year to “give it 18 months.”
In response, Directioners quickly started the hashtag, #OneDirectionisOverParty, on Twitter.
However, it is still entirely possible that Payne is merely working on solo music and that One Direction is still an intact musical group.
Simon Cowell, the man behind the band, flamed the group’s breakup rumors back in March.
“I don’t know if it’s a hiatus or a breakup, to be honest,” Cowell told Billboard. “In a weird way, I don’t want to know. I don’t think they’ve had enough time to experience what it’s like not being in the group to really answer that.”
Like all good pop culture drama, only time will tell us whether Liam is gone for good. Have patience, Directioners!