The British new wave pop and rock band, who rose to fame in the '80s with hits such as "Hungry Like the Wolf," "Rio" and "The Reflex," is still going strong, more than 35 years after its formation and following some lineup changes. While they're a little less hairy, they're touring the U.S. and the U.K. this summer and fall and studio album No. 14, Paper Gods, is set for release in September.
In comments made to Billboard, posted on Friday, lead singer Simon Le Bon, 56, recently talked to Billboard about the group's career and also offered his thoughts on One Direction and singer Harry Styles, 21.
"We were the last band people thought would carry on," Le Bon told Billboard. "They thought we were a flash in the pan, contrived, probably put together by management."
Simon Cowell helped form One Direction on his singing competition show The X Factor in 2010. The group was then made up of Styles, Louis Tomlinson, 23, and Niall Horan, Liam Payne and Zayn Malik, all currently 21. Malik left the group, now one of the most popular in the world, in March.
Billboard quoted Le Bon him as saying he has "great sympathy" for One Direction.
"They are a cash cow for so many people," he said. "There's a huge pressure to never take a break."
Styles, Le Bon said, "seems to be a decent chap."
"That makes me think he is handling it all very well," he added.