Niall James Horan was born on 13 September 1993 in Mullingar, Westmeath, Ireland. He has an older brother, Greg Horan. His parents, Bobby Horan and Maura Gallagher, divorced when he was five years old, so he and his brother, Greg, lived with their mother for a year. After spending a year apart from their father, they later decided to move in with him. He had asthma as a child. He attended St. Kenny’s National School, a primary school, and Coláiste Mhuire, a Catholic boys school, which are both located in Mullingar.
Horan tried to play the guitar that his brother bought for Christmas, but was not able to play it. Horan, then aged 11, taught himself how to play the guitar by following YouTube tutorials. His aunt discovered his talent one day when she was in the car with Horan as he started singing. She originally thought the radio was on. As a teenager, he performed at the Mullingar Arts Centre during a fund-raiser for the local football team, the Shamrocks. He was also bagging a support slot with former X Factor contestant Lloyd Daniels at the Academy club in Dublin.
As a former member of One Direction, Horan was involved in the Action 1D campaign that “aims to end extreme poverty, tackle inequality and slow down climate change with the help of their millions of fans”. The band also supported Comic Relief.
In May 2014, Horan hosted the Charity Football Challenge at Leicester City’s King Power Stadium to raise money for Irish Autism Action. The celebrity football match had 10,000 spectators and raised about £300,000 for the charity. In 2016, Horan continued to support Irish Autism Action by creating limited edition T-shirts.
Horan teamed up with Golf Digest to raise money for the REACH military families. Horan and golf player Justin Rose created the “Horan and Rose Gala”, a charity event in aid of Cancer Research UK Kids and Teens.
Horan was announced to be joining the Soccer Aid 2016 star lineup fundraiser for UNICEF as an assistant manager and player for the Rest of the World team. In 2017, Horan received an Arnie Award for his work with charities. In 2019, Horan joins UNICEF’s Soccer Aid World XI team, formerly called Rest of the World, alongside retired sprinter Usain Bolt and former Chelsea FC player Didier Drogba. UNICEF’s soccer aid tournament aims to raise funds to benefit children around the world.
In June 2020, Horan expressed his support for the Black Lives Matter movement and attended multiple London marches. Horan has also been vocal about the 2020 United States election year and has expressed his distaste for United States President, Donald Trump, on multiple occasions