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One Direction stars' most iconic collaborations

Liam Payne and Rita Ora swung by Grimmy's studio this AM to dish on their collab (anyone else had For You on repeat all week? Yeah, same) and generally cause chaos. Standard procedure.

Last year brought with it a smorgasbord of post-One Direction greatness: Harry Styles made his acting debut in Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk (and dropped a No.1 album, no big deal); Liam Payne headlined Radio 1's Teen Awards; Louis Tomlinson scored himself a No.1 with Back To You; ZAYN bagged a Billboard Music Award; Niall Horan floored us all with Flicker aaaand, despite disbanding a year earlier, One Direction bagged themselves a BRIT Award. Not bad, huh?

All things considered, it's surprising that the guys even had time to squeeze in a few epic collabs. Let's look back at all the times they shared the spotlight with someone else...

Liam Payne and Rita Ora

In October 2017, Liam Payne and Rita Ora popped into The Radio 1 Breakfast Show for a chat with Nick Grimshaw about their respective new singles, Anywhere and Bedroom Floor.

Three months later, they returned to talk about a new collaboration they worked on after that glorious October morning.

"I knew Liam did it but I didn't tell him I knew," said Rita.

"I did a bit of research, I was like 'I heard Liam's recorded this, I'm such a fan of his, I really want to be a part of it,' and now we are.'

The pair share equal billing on their Fifty Shades Freed tune, For You, but when Liam rolled into Radio 1 at 8:30 to join Rita (who'd been on air with Nick since the early hours) he admitted the workload hadn't been equally split.

"I've noticed with this song, that I seem to be doing less of the work which I don't think is very fair," he confessed on air.

He revealed Rita shot her scenes for the upcoming video outside, in freezing conditions, while he turned up late and filmed indoors.

"Now, you've been on the radio all morning today while I've been snuggled up in my hotel room and now here I am.

ZAYN and Sia

We've been singing this every day from dusk 'til dawn since it dropped in September and our vocal chords are fried because of it.

Foregoing the hands-on approach, this absolute belter of a track came together without ZAYN or Sia ever getting in the studio together. Wondering how that works? ZAYN spoke to FADER about the process:

"I didn’t get in the studio with Sia - I did the majority of the song already, and my management played it during a meeting with her. She really liked it, so she basically said, 'Can I do something on it?' She did it separately, though, and I’d really like to work with her in a studio. She was probably the person who got it the most, straight away. I just thought she was really cool. She didn’t take much time, she just knew what she was doing."

Harry Styles and Stevie Nicks

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Harry Styles is a self-confessed Fleetwood Mac superfan. Speaking to Clara during Live Lounge Month (in which he covered - you guessed it! - Fleetwood Mac), Harry dished about his love for the legendary rockers:

"I'm just such a massive fan of them as a band and of the music. I feel like everyone in the band sings and it kind of felt like something we could cover vocally [in the Live Lounge] so we should try it and then we really loved it."

A few months earlier, in March 2017, Harry held a secret show at Los Angeles’ Troubadour and brought with him a veeeery special guest: Stevie Nicks. The pair dueted on Hazza's 'Two Ghosts' and Fleetwood Mac's 'Landslide' and we've never been so gutted to have missed something, TBH.

Louis Tomlinson and Bebe Rexha

We have a lot of love for Louis Tomlinson and it seems as though Bebe Rexha does, too.

After recording and filming with the Doncaster-born 1D star, Bebe had nothing but nice things to say about him and the experience:

"Working with Louis on 'Back To You' was honestly an amazing experience," Bebe told Girlfriend. He was so kind, so sweet and we filmed the music video in Doncaster and it was really interesting. It was like this town outside of Manchester - so far from a city and it was cool it was very humbling and it was nice to see - it was nice seeing where Louis was from and it makes total sense cause he’s very humble and very sweet and very kind."

Keep it real forever plz, Louis.

Liam Payne and Quavo

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We're more than partial to an old school One Direction bop, it's exciting the see each of the guys come into their own musically since going solo. While Hazza took the rocky route and Niall put his guitar tekkers to work, Liam proved that R&B is more his jam when he dropped Strip That Down.

Featuring Quavo, the track quickly soared to the Top 10 of the UK Charts and stayed there for an impressively long time. Chatting about the song on his Facebook, Liam explained what it was all about:

"Quavo was great to work with on the Strip That Down video. The crew and dancers were also amazing to work with and was a lot of fun! And That's exactly what the song is all about!"

Niall Horan and... Shawn Mendes?!

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We've been waiting for this collab for a while now but we're willing to wait a little longer. (But only a little longer, OK guys?)

Speaking to Capital last year, Shawn confirmed that a Niall Horan collab is most certainly on the cards, it's just a matter of time: "I got a chance to speak to him recently and we are definitely going to write together. We are going into the studio as soon as we can get our diaries together and see what we come up with."

Major, right? Watch this space.

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