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Niall Horan's Brother Says He's Sick Of 'Living In The Shadows Of A Person Who Doesn't Care About Me'

Photo: Fred Duval / Shutterstock / Instagram
Niall Horan, Greg Horan

On the same day that popstar Niall Horan announced a summer performance at the Sziget Festival in Budapest, his estranged brother Greg took to Instagram Live, begging his followers to stop asking him how Niall is.

In an agitated tone, Greg addressed the camera with the question, “Does anyone ask Niall around the world how Greg is?”

Greg Horan's TikTok declaration comes after years of tension between him and Niall, leading fans of the former 1D singer to wonder if Niall's older brother is struggling beyond their family feud.

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What happened between Niall Horan and his brother?

The former One Direction member has been estranged from his older brother for several years.

Complaining that his social media followers only seem to care about his famous brother, Greg implored his Instagram followers to stop talking to him about Niall. 


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“Do me a favor,” he said. “Go ask Niall how Greg is.”

Continuing on from the front seat of his car, Greg said he was sick of “living in the shadow of someone who doesn’t care about me.”

"All people do is ask me about Niall. I don't need Niall," Greg declared. 



Niall Horan and Greg Horan have been feuding since 2017.

Niall, 29, and Greg, 35, have had their share of public struggles. While Niall was the best man at Greg’s 2013 wedding to Denise Kelly, and is the godfather to nephew Theo, 9, Niall cut off all communication with his brother in 2017. 

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The brothers’ relationship had been fraught since Niall found fame with One Direction in 2010, and seemed to sour further when Niall’s solo album was released in 2016.

According to a 2017 report from The Daily Star, a close family source stated that Greg couldn’t “handle living in someone else’s shadow and [was] looking for an agent to try and make a name for himself away from his brother.”

Greg did parlay his status as Niall’s brother into some semblance of social media fame, for a matter of time. The Daily Star reported that Greg had 1.7 million Twitter followers in 2017. His bio listed him as an “influencer marketer.”

The same close family source shed light on the Horan's controversy, saying that Greg had hoped to “reach a point where people… know who he is without having to include a picture of Niall on his profile.” 

Five years later, Greg is down to 4,726 Twitter followers.

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Greg Horan has made several public attacks against his brother.

In a multipart stream dated April 2021, Greg appeared to unravel onscreen. Commenting on his brother’s success as a member of One Direction, Greg seemed to simultaneously amplify and resent Niall’s stardom.

He described his brother as “one of the most famous popstars to ever grace the pop world,” while also bemoaning his position of being known only as "Niall Horan’s brother" and “not stand-alone Greg who works hard.” 

Although he urged viewers to “keep supporting Niall, keep supporting the One Direction boys.”

His attitude towards Niall changes dramatically during his stream, bouncing from highly supportive to outright antagonistic. The shifts in tone had many viewers wondering if Greg was okay. 

In the same stream, Greg stated that he’d “skipped many a job through mental health.”

In this light, his comments seem more like a call for help than an attack on Niall.

But Greg did go on the offensive during his stream, calling out ex-wife Denise as someone who’s “only been a so-called feminist or high profile on social media because she’s married to Niall Horan’s brother.” 



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Obvious misogyny aside, Greg isn’t entirely wrong. 

Denise navigated her proximity to the pop superstar into a robust social media presence. With 99,0000 followers on Instagram, Denis Horan’s bio identifies her as both a blogger and a brand ambassador for Horans Healthstore — a site selling beauty products like hydrating mist toner and densifying shampoos, along with health food, children’s supplements, and capsules that claim to burn fat.

She links to her son Theo’s Instagram handle, an account that she also runs.

Theo is a model with agency representation, whose own fame was built on the basis of his status as Niall Horan’s nephew and godson.

Greg went on to say that he hadn’t seen Theo in five months, which seems to be the underlying reason for his very public grievances.

“Any mother or any father who stops their other parent from seeing their children is wrong… All I need in my life is my son back.”

Greg went on to claim, “I’m not a bad man, I might have said some stuff in the heat of the moment… I might have been aggressive and upset with Niall in the past, all I ever wanted was a hug.”

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He commented that “Niall has a very good, clean image… Niall is not a bad lad.”

Appearing distressed, Greg expressed his hope for a continued relationship between Niall and Theo.

“I can’t wait for Niall to hang out with him when he’s older, I can’t wait to see Niall hug him… Theo deserves everything from Niall.”

His viral breakdowns seem to have more to do with his estrangement from his son than his brother and exemplify the vulnerable, multilayered intersection between mental health and social media presence.

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers celebrity gossip, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.