The Courier-Mail - - CONFIDENTIAL -

LIAM Payne has thanked his fans for stick­ing with him in the two years since One Di­rec­tion called it quits. While for­mer band­mates

Harry Styles, Zayn Ma­lik and Niall Ho­ran have gone on to en­joy huge in­ter­na­tional solo suc­cess, 25-year-old Payne is unashamedly tak­ing his time.

“I am su­per grate­ful my fans are stick­ing by me and start­ing to un­der­stand what it is I am here to give,” Payne (pic­tured) said in Syd­ney ahead of his show af­ter to­day’s The Ever­est race at Rand­wick.

“For most peo­ple, they don’t get that big leap step that I got at the start of my ca­reer,” Payne said. “I haven’t rushed into tour­ing be­cause … the only way you are go­ing to have that longevity is by mak­ing con­stant hits over time. I think if I rushed into it, I’d just get it wrong. “I think the fans de­serve a bit more so I am go­ing to make sure I get the right stuff out.” Payne last week re­leased the new sin­gle Po­laroid, a col­lab­o­ra­tion with Jonas Blue and Len­non Stella that was recorded in a garage in Es­sex. Be­fore it was re­vealed that Payne didn’t write the track, UK mu­sic press ques­tioned whether the lyrics re­ferred to his re­cent split from singer Ch­eryl Cole, with whom he has a son, Bear Grey. “It is kind of a ref­er­ence to love be­ing like a Po­laroid pic­ture,” he ex­plained. “You al­ways hope when you start a ro­mance that it is not some­thing that fades away and you want that feel­ing to stay.”

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