Liam Payne

Liam Payne

Liam Payne has inked a deal with Republic Records in North America.

The 23-year-old One Direction singer already has a huge contract in the UK with Capitol Records but has set his sights on breaking into the US as a solo artist.

The 'History' hitmaker's manager, Simon Oliveira - the co-founder of Doyen Global - said of the signing: "With Republic's track record of launching powerhouse talent in the US including superstars like Drake, Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, The Weeknd, Ariana Grade, Lorde and countless others, I am more than confident we have assembled the best team alongside Capitol's UK label to launch and shepherd Liam's solo career."

And Republic Records have also teased new music will be "coming soon" from the hunky pop star.

A statement made by the label - responsible for helping to launch the careers of Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj and James Bay - said: "A driving force of One Direction with numerous key songwriting credits, he sold over 20 million albums worldwide as part of the group in addition to receiving six BRIT Awards, seven American Music Awards, 11 MTV Europe Music Awards, four MTV Video Music Awards, and 27 Teen Choice Awards. He kicks off his solo career with new music coming soon via an alliance with Capitol UK label, led by Nick Raphael."

Liam - who is dating Cheryl Fernandez-Versini - announced the news of his deal with Capitol in July but said One Direction would always be his "family".

He said at the time: "I'm really happy to have signed to such a prestigious label as Capitol Records UK.

"Capitol Records has an amazing history stretching right back before even Frank Sinatra and I'm really looking forward to becoming part of their story.

"One Direction will always be my family; I'm now excited to show what I can do as a solo artist."

It comes after Simon Cowell - who guided Liam and his One Direction bandmates to fame after discovering them on 'The X Factor' - admitted he was disappointed Liam, Niall Horan, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson didn't choose to stay with Sony's Syco label to forge their individual careers.

He previously said: "I worked with these guys for six years, so I always hoped they would all stay within what I call the Sony family, but I think only one won't."