22-year-old One Direction singer Liam Payne hit the news for allegedly experiencing a “meltdown” before a One Direction concert in Belfast. A resilient Payne performed Wednesday night with the band, after Tuesday night’s show was abruptly canceled. One of the band’s sponsors, MMD Communications, echoed the sentiments of thousands of fans when it tweeted Wednesday: “Pleased to confirm One Direction are on stage in the The SSE Arena, Belfast – enjoy the show.”
Payne, who was discovered at age 15 when he auditioned for the TV show The X Factor, has become — along with his bandmates — a major international star. He has toured non-stop and been inundated with all the perks and downsides of fame. Initial reports of Payne’s “meltdown” attributed it to this unrelenting merry-go-round of fame. In Psychology Today, psychologist Nick Luxmoore describes a “meltdown” as what happens to a young person “when everything seems impossible and a young person regresses, temporarily younger.” Luxmoore explains that “typically, meltdowns happen at transitional moments in a young person’s life, when some challenge has to be faced and the young person is suddenly scared,” saying also that “whenever someone has to take a big leap forwards, they always prepare by taking a few steps backwards.” If Payne did indeed have a meltdown as reported, psychology would suggest it means just a few steps backwards before a big leap forward for the artist. Fans will be waiting to see what Payne does next.