Liam Payne will return to One Direction after their hiatus, his sister Ruth has confirmed.
The 22-year-old singer announced on Twitter on Thursday (21Jul16) he has signed a solo record deal with Capitol Records, causing fans to speculate that Liam may be permanently going solo.
However, Liam's sibling was quick to reassure her brother's Twitter followers his loyalty lies entirely with One Direction, who went on hiatus in late 2015.
"So happy for liam," Ruth wrote. "I'm (sic) biased but hes so talented it would have been a shame for him not to release music for 2 years!"
One fan then jumped in to ask Ruth, "He's still staying in one direction though right??" to which she replied, "Yh (yeah), im not sure how a solo career in the band 'hiatus' would affect membership ha."
Liam announced his career move in a statement on Twitter, writing: "Happy to have signed to @CapitolUK. They have an amazing history of artists, I hope I can follow in their footsteps.
"One direction will always be my home and family but I'm very excited to see what this chapter brings."
The news comes after Liam's bandmate Harry Styles reportedly signed an $80 million contract with Columbia Records - the same label behind the group - in June (16).
Since One Direction went on hiatus, the boys have been working on their own projects. Harry has been forging an acting career, after landing a role in Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk, a World War II drama about the evacuation of Allied troops from French beaches in 1940, Louis Tomlinson is working on his record label and looking after son Freddie, and Niall Horan has been working on his golf management agency. Niall is also eyeing up a solo career, according to reports, with Simon Cowell's label Syco and One Direction's management Modest.