One Direction made Liam Payne a household name and multi-millionaire several times over when most of us were still trying to figure out what to do with our lives.
But life as part of the world’s biggest boyband wasn’t all trophies, jet-setting and glamour.
In a recent interview with The Telegraph Magazine, which has been dug up again this week, the 24-year-old recalled one incident that left him in tears after he realised the impact of living in a goldfish bowl.
Recounting the effect of being followed by a paparazzi everywhere he went, Liam said the emotions all came flooding out when he tried to go out for dinner with his parents in New York in 2012, only for it to end in disaster.
An enthusiastic cameraman, eager for that money shot, accidentally knocked his mum to the ground.
Understandably, Liam was furious – and very upset.
He said: “There was this swarm of them and I just wanted a burger with my parents. I cried my eyes out. I thought, ‘I can’t do this’, and really hated my life.”
In the same interview, he spoke about feeling trapped at times by his own success, as the band couldn’t go anywhere without being surrounded by people.
“Cabin fever,” he said. “It sent me a bit AWOL at one point, if I’m honest.
“I can remember when there were 10,000 people outside our hotel. We couldn’t go anywhere. It was just gig to hotel, gig to hotel. And you couldn’t sleep, because they’d still be outside.
“People were speaking to me about mental health in music the other day, and that’s a big issue.
“Sometimes you just need some sun or a walk.”
One Direction has been on hiatus since 2016, allowing the band members to focus on other projects.
For Liam, that has meant launching a solo career with debut single, Strip That Down, which will be followed by the upcoming track Bedroom Floor.
He’s also been adjusting to life as a dad after girlfriend Cheryl gave birth to their son Bear in March.
Liam recently admitted Cheryl gives him a telling off at times when he divulges a bit too much about their personal lives.
He told Mail Online: “I do get a bit overexcited sometimes. I’ll go home and she’ll say ‘What did you say that for?’
“But I’m just really happy with everything and life’s great, I’m really enjoying myself and everything’s really good so I can’t really complain. I just like to talk about it!
“I’ll get a cheeky ribbing sometimes and I’ll say ‘Ah, don’t worry about it, it’s fine! People know!'”
Don’t listen to Chez, Liam, keep the tidbits coming!