Biggest boy band feuds – from ‘hungover’ Robbie Williams’ Take That strop to Zayn Malik branding 1D ‘generic as f***’

BOYS will be boys – and sometimes that means explosive fallouts that split boybands at the height of their careers.

This weekend Westlife star Brian McFadden revealed he hasn’t spoken to his former bandmates for 12 years.

Brian McFadden, far right, hasn’t spoken to his bandmates for 12 yearsCredit: Getty

The 41-year-old, who left the band in 2011, told the Secure the Insecure podcast they met up when the four remaining members were filming a video in Los Angeles, where he was living at the time.

“We went for dinner then the boys came back to my house. That was the last time the five of us were together.”

Last week we revealed the feuds, fights and punch-ups, but it seems the lads are just as bad.

Here we look at the bitter spats behind boy band break-ups – from 15 year feuds over an exhaust pipe to £200,000 lawsuits.

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Take That: Robbie Williams vs Gary Barlow

Robbie blamed Gary for his unhappiness in the band

Robbie blamed Gary for his unhappiness in the bandCredit: Getty

For five years, from 1990, Take That were dominating the charts with hit after hit.

But Robbie Williams, who was just 16 when he joined, was becoming increasingly frustrated at taking a back seat to songwriter Gary Barlow.

The row came to a head when Robbie – who admits he was drinking and partying too much – ditched the band’s rehearsal to go to Glastonbury with Oasis.

He then decided to leave in 1995 in the middle of their Nobody Else world tour.

“The last few months I was a wreck. The night before we all went out. I drank myself stupid,” he later said.

“That morning, we rehearsed as normal, but I was drinking an awful lot. So when they spoke to me about my attitude I thought they were saying ‘you should leave’.”

Robbie walked away and a bitter war of words between the pair erupted, with Robbie branding Gary “clueless” and saying the group “had all the creativity of morons”.

“I hated our music and in the end I also hated myself,” he said in one interview, adding “My problem has always been with Gary.”

The pair were reunited in 2010 for an album and tour, after a heart to heart at Gary’s house.

“I went away an angry young man and I blamed Gary,” said Robbie. “But the truth is that Take That had two guys who wanted to be the front man.”

The Wanted: Max George vs Siva Kaneswaran

Max and Siva (centre) fell out over a girl

Max and Siva (centre) fell out over a girlCredit: Getty

The five piece were riding high in the charts for five years, but relations hit an All Time Low in 2012 after the group agreed to take part in a reality show in the States.

Siva Kaneswaran later said they went from Team Wanted to “everyone thinking of themselves”.

Rivalries between the lads became the storyline and, when Siva’s girlfriend Nareesha moved in with the band, it allegedly caused friction with Max George.

A huge row erupted when Siva dropped out of a scheduled gig in Las Vegas to spend time with Nareesha, and the show began to depict the couple as party poopers.

Siva said: “We got stereotyped as the boring couple. She was stitched up, big time, and I felt responsible.”

There has been a lot of tension. Our personal lives drove us apart

Max George

The group disbanded in January 2014 – with Max and Nathan Sykes the only two members kept on by Scooter Braun’s management firm as solo artists.

A very public Twitter row followed, with Nareesha posting a tweet about “selfishness” which Max branded “immature”. Siva hit back, labelling Max “disappointing” while Tom Parker replied: “F*** you!!”

The band reunited a few months later and put the row behind them for the Word of Mouth Tour, but took a hiatus straight afterwards.

“There has been a lot of tension. Our personal lives drove us apart,” Max told the Sun on Sunday.

The group are now buddies again and have rallied round Tom, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2020. They reunited for a Greatest Hits tour earlier this month and have also played several gigs in aid of cancer charities.

Boyzone: Mikey Graham vs Shane Lynch

Mikey (far left) and Shane (second left) argued over an exhaust

Mikey (far left) and Shane (second left) argued over an exhaustCredit: Getty Images – Getty

The fresh-faced Irish lads shot to fame in 1993 with hits including Picture of You and Baby Can I Hold you.

Incredibly, Shane Lynch and Mikey Graham – both car mechanics before joining the band – fell out in the early days over an exhaust pipe.

“For many years me and Mikey were the furthest apart – I mean we didn’t get on AT ALL,” Shane told the People in 2013.

“It wasn’t really ‘spanner envy’ but, quite ridiculously, we fell out over a bloody exhaust pipe.

“We were discussing the exhaust pipe and how it would get the car to go a little bit faster and he told me I was talking absolute nonsense and that was impossible. And, believe it or not, we fell out over that and we didn’t talk for years.”

They carried on performing together but he says they barely exchanged a word for 15 years.

“I’d hang out with Ronan and Stephen while Keith and Mikey hung out because they were closer in age,” he added.

The pair finally made up when the band reunited in 2013, four years after the tragic death of Stephen Gately, and are now close friends.

5ive: Scott Robinson vs Abz & J

5ive had numerous rifts, including Scott's beef with J

5ive had numerous rifts, including Scott’s beef with JCredit: Rex Features

5ive were one of the biggest boy bands of the late 90s but behind the scenes, there were bitter disputes from day one.

Scott Robinson says he “never saw eye to eye” with Jason ‘J’ Brown and hinted he felt bullied by him.

“He was older than me and stronger than me and I felt he got everything his way, so I found that very, very difficult and I didn’t know how to deal with it back then,” he told the Mirror.

“The more I felt he pushed me, the more I sort of went into myself. Towards the very end, I’d cry before I had to go and do a photoshoot.”

Things began to fall apart in 2001 when Sean Conlon suffered a mental breakdown and the band decided to split.

They reunited in 2006, for a year, and again in 2012, for ITV2’s The Big Reunion – but J refused to come back, and rows soon erupted on the show.

“There were two obnoxious people who ruined it for us – Sean and J,” Ritchie Neville said. “We were about to smash it in the States.”

Further beef came when Abz Love unexpectedly quit the band, announcing it on Twitter.

Scott has since accused him of changing after a stint on Celebrity Big Brother.

“In my opinion, he let that go to his head a little bit,” said Scott. The remaining three members are still touring and last year, Scott said J and Abz “made it very clear they didn’t want to be in the band”.

Zayn Malik vs One Direction

Zayn Malik (left) rowed with the whole band after quitting

Zayn Malik (left) rowed with the whole band after quittingCredit: Getty – Contributor

One Direction ruled the roost after coming together on The X Factor in 2010, winning six BRIT Awards and pocketing an estimated £50million each.

When he unexpectedly quit the band in 2015, Zayn Malik said: “I know I have four friends for life in Louis, Liam, Harry and Niall.”

But that didn’t last long – with Louis Tomlinson hitting out at producer Naughty Boy for working with Zayn, sparking a Twitter spat with his former bandmate.

In his first solo interview, eight months after he left, Zayn said he made “no friends” in 1D and called the music: “generic as f***”, claiming it didn’t fit his style.

In another interview he suggested he hadn’t wanted to be in the band at all, adding: “When I realised the direction we were going in – mind the pun – with the music, I instantly realised it wasn’t for me.”

When Zayn’s debut album was beaten to the top spot by Bradley Walsh’s album of covers, Niall Horan messaged The Chase host with laughing emojis.

And Louis revealed his hurt that Zayn snubbed an emotional appearance on the X Factor, in the wake of his mother’s tragic death in 2019.

In 2020, Liam Payne revealed Zayn cut them off without a goodbye.

“I think with Zayn’s particular exit and the way he chose to go, we haven’t really heard from him since he left,” the singer told GQ magazine.

“He didn’t even say goodbye, if I am being honest. It was a really sordid scenario, from our side certainly. A bit strange. It’s difficult.”

Gary Kemp Vs Spandau Ballet

Three band members took Gary Kemp (right) to court

Three band members took Gary Kemp (right) to courtCredit: Getty

New Romantic legends Spandau Ballet went through one of the most bitter break-ups in pop history,

The group had eight top ten albums and a string of hit singles including True and Gold, but there were plenty of fights too – pitting brothers Gary and Martin Kemp against lead singer Tony Hadley.

“My brother Martin dominated the way we looked,” Gary said. “There were many, many arguments, particularly towards Tony, feeling that he wasn’t looking right or pulling his weight on that side of things.”

But things came to a head when Tony and bandmates Steve Norman and John Keeble launched a £1million law suit against songwriter Gary, arguing they deserved a share of the song’s royalties.

The trio lost the case – which cost £200,000 – and it emerged that the five members had never signed a formal contract.

“We did try to sort out the whole thing amicably many, many times,” Tony said.

“In my heart of hearts I was hoping that someone would tap me on the shoulder just before the court door opened and say, ‘Come on lads this is stupid; let’s go out to the pub and sort it out.’

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“But it didn’t happen. I don’t think anyone can take pleasure in going to court to fight it out with their old best mates.”

They reunited in 2009 and are now close friends again.


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