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Liam Payne's journey from Bushbury to Big Apple

Wolverhampton | News | Published:

Designer clothes, trips to far-flung destinations and adoring groupies. Not bad for a lad from Bushbury.

Designer clothes, trips to far-flung destinations and adoring groupies. Not bad for a lad from Bushbury.

From boy-next-door to fully-fledged popstar, Liam Payne's rise to the top has been rapid – and charted in the pages of the Express & Star.

And his transformation is no more evident than in his looks. From Topman to Tom Ford, tracksuits to tailored suits, Liam has been styled, fussed and preened to perfection. Now 18, his dreams of superstardom began as a young child, when he would sing at any given opportunity.

But he took his first tentative steps into the limelight aged 13 when he enrolled in Sedgley-based theatre school Pink Productions.

Pink Productions boss Jodie Richards said: "Liam joined us as a timid boy who wanted to sing after watching his sisters perform with us.

"Who'd have thought the Liam we see today would have nearly had to be forced on to the stage?"

It was Pink Productions that gave the St Peter's Collegiate School student the confidence to audition for the country's biggest talent show in 2008.

At the age of 14 a fresh-faced Liam got to the judges' houses stage of X Factor in Barbados but was sent back to Blighty. Back in Wolverhampton, he studied for his GCSEs and visited The Hawthorns.

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The Express & Star next caught up with him as he prepared to audition for X Factor again in 2010, looking more like a star, rocking trendy tops, skinny jeans and a super-styled hairdo – and finally Uber stylish One Direction were born.

The Express & Star was there again to capture Liam's triumphant homecoming to Wolverhampton Civic Hall in January. He had already begun the transformation into pop idol, with a preened-to-perfection hair style and slick designer threads, minded by huge bodyguards

But this latest photograph of the band shows just how bright Liam's star is now shining. Taken on Monday, it shows the youngster dressed in an immaculate suit in front of the spotlights of New York. He was performing as part of the Today Show's Toyota Concert Series.

From Bushbury to the Big Apple, it's fair to say the boy's done – and looks – good.

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