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Digital Subscriptions > Attitude > 262 > COVER STAR LIAM

COVER STAR LIAM

AS WE AWARD HIM SEXIEST MAN OF THE YEAR AT NEXT MONTH’S ATTITUDE AWARDS, IN A WORLD EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW, ONE DIRECTION’S LIAM PAYNE TELLS ATTITUDE ABOUT KEEPING HIS COOL IN THE SPOTLIGHT, WHY HE’S DEFINITELY NOT HOMOPHOBIC AND WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS FOR THE WORLD’S BIGGEST BOYBAND

NEW DIRECTION

COVER STAR_LIAM PAYNE

Photography by Leigh Keily

Creative Direction by Joseph Kocharian Styling by Ellie Stidolph assisted by Laura Meahan

Vest by La Perla, Shirt by Topman

THIS WORLD EXCLUSIVE

Interview and solo shoot has been a long time coming. After months of lengthy negotiations, the moment has finally arrived for our eagerly anticipated chat with one of the most desirable men in the world and winner of this year’s Attitude Award for Sexiest Man Of The Year.

Top by Remi Relief at MR PORTER; jeans by Topman; boots by Clarks

And this is a biggie for Attitude – or any magazine for that matter – as this is the first solo interview Liam has undertaken since 1D announced that they are planning to take some time out from March of next year. Although most people are convinced this spells the end of One Direction (err, didn’t the Spice Girls say they were talking time out to work on solo projects?), we’re assured that it isn’t. (“It’s been five years and it’s time to take a well-earned break.” Liam will later tell us. “Of course, we’ll work together again; we’re not splitting up. We’re just having some time out.”)

While long haired larrikin Harry Styles is recognised by the press as the band’s hottest guy, it’s actually moody-looking Liam, 22, from Wolverhampton, who has caught the eyes of us gay men. Since he cropped his Bieber fringe in favour of a rugged crop, Liam’s blossomed from a teenage boy to a handsome, self-assured man.

But it’s not just his dashing teen idol looks that have captivated us so much; so too has his surly take on life. He may come across as the ‘practical’ Gary Barlow type, but he’s certainly not scared to say what’s on his mind, a refreshingly honest trait that has occasionally landed him in hot water. We’ve lost count of the amount of times he’s taken to Twitter to scold his noisy fans for keeping him up at night or for hanging around outside his London skyscraper apartment during his time off. But in a world where pop stars flash superficial smiles, it’s refreshing to find one who’s not afraid to let the smiley PR mask slip from time to time.

However, on a darker note, there have been accusations of homophobia from some quarters, which have caused concern among his gay fans. Last year, Liam was criticised after he praised the Duck Dynasty cast for their ‘family values’, the very same week its bible-bashing patriarch Phil Robertson made dubious homophobic comments. The result was a barrage of abuse from fans and Liam issued a series of tweets defending his good name. More recently, he was accused of alienating lesbian fans during a concert when he told a legion of mainly female fans that they wouldn’t be able to relate to one of his favourite songs because it was about falling in love with a girl. Again, he took to Twitter to defend his honour.

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About Attitude

This month’s Attitude cover star is One Direction’s Liam Payne, who gives the band’s first ever solo interview, and first gay press exclusive. Shot and interviewed by Attitude, he speaks out about his relationship with the gay community, and the band’s future. We also have an interview with music’s most profound gay voice, John Grant, the King of Broadway Harvey Fierstein, alternative pop star Peaches, and young adult author James Dawson. We have a feature looking at what really happened at the Stonewall riots, and look back at Emile Griffith, the tragic gay boxing star from the 1960s. This issue also introduces a few new pages to the magazine, including a Books page, the new Readers Question spread, and the debut of columnist Jemal Polson.
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