From 'Glee' to One Direction: the best musical reunions taking place in isolation

From boy bands to musical TV stars, household names are getting back together during lockdown

The Backstreet Boys got back together for an online rendition of 'I Want It That Way'. YouTube 
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"We're all in this together," sung the High School Musical cast, as they reunited online this weekend. The familiar tune seemed apt, as a large portion of the world has hunkered down into self-isolation amid the coronavirus pandemic.

But it's not just the HSM team that have come back together as the globe socially distances. Popular boy bands such as Backstreet Boys, Take That, McFly and One Direction have all reunited virtually (or at least teased a get-together).

Here, we've rounded up some of the best musical reunions so far:

One Direction 

On Sunday, April 19, boy-band-member-turned-soloist Liam Payne seemed to confirm a One Direction reunion during an Instagram live chat with Swedish DJ, Alesso. It is the band's 10-year anniversary in July and there has been much speculation about its members reuniting in some form. Now, it seems Payne will be getting back together with Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson and Niall Horan.

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 04:  (L-R) Recording artists Niall Horan, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson and Liam Payne of One Direction attend 102.7 KIIS FM?s Jingle Ball 2015 Presented by Capital One at STAPLES CENTER on December 4, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)
Niall Horan, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson and Liam Payne are planning a reunion for One Direction's 10th anniversary in July 2020. Getty Images

"Oh my god, dude ... there [are] so many One Direction questions," Alesso said during the Instagram Live. "But I feel like I don't want to put you on the spot because I know you can't say too much."

Payne replied: "Most of us are in London, we've been trying to arrange the first group FaceTime with the boys at the moment."

He then added, "[But] I can't say too much. Louis told me off for revealing a bit of our plans the other day, so you're going to have the group chat telling me off."

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 28:  Singer Zayn Malik is seen walking in soho on June 28, 2018 in New York City.  (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
Liam Payne hinted that Zayn Malik would not join a One Direction reunion. Getty Images

Payne then seemed to confirm that Zayn Malik would not be rejoining, despite One Direction members all re-following their ex-band mate on social media, telling Alesso: "You can come in and fill in for Zayn and join the band."

The band, who had hits with songs such as Story of My Life and Best Song Ever, went from a five-piece to a four-piece when Malik departed the group in 2015. Though they released one more album after his exit, the band went on a hiatus in 2016, with each member forging successful solo careers.

Backstreet Boys 

On March 29, 1990s boy band the Backstreet Boys came together for the iHeart Living Room Concert for America. AJ McLean, Howie Dorough, Nick Carter, Kevin Richardson and Brian Littrell performed I Want It That Way from their respective homes, giving fans a glimpse into their lives.

Richardson and Carter's children even joined in on the fun.

The US pop group have taken a hiatus in their time, with Richardson even leaving the band for a number of years before rejoining. They released their most recent album, DNA, in January 2019.

'High School Musical'

The stars of Disney's High School Musical got back together for a rendition of the aptly named All in this Together. Original cast member Zac Efron introduced the video, but didn't get involved with the singing, much to the disappointment of fans.

However, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale and Lucas Grabeel all represented the cast from the first three films.


The cast of the musical TV show came together on Stars in the House, a daily concert series launched by Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley to raise money for The Actors Fund, a charity that supports performers and behind-the-scenes workers in entertainment.

The show lasts more than one hour, and brought Glee's Darren Criss, Matthew Morrison, Jane Lynch, Jenna Ushkowitz, Chris Colfer, Amber Riley and Kevin McHale back together. Skip to 5.20 if you want to get straight to the Glee team.

They chatted, played throwback videos, sung songs from new projects – including Waitress – and put on an off-the-cuff group performance of Somewhere Over the Rainbow around the hour mark.

Glee ran from 2009 and 2015.


British pop band McFly have rerecorded their 2003 number one song, All About You, with money going to NHS charities.

“Everyone in the NHS, all the carers, all the key workers who are still working to keep this country running, to keep us safe and keep us alive. We owe you so much right now,” the band's Harry Judd says in the video.

Tom Fletcher adds: “We’ve recorded this song while we’re on lockdown to say that right now, it is without doubt all about you.”

The video has been filmed from the band members' homes, with their kids making cameo appearances.

The band took an indefinite hiatus in 2016, but announced that they were reforming in 2019, planning a 2020 tour. The UK tour was due to take place in April and May but has been postponed amid the ongoing pandemic.

Gary Barlow and Robbie Williams 

Take That's Gary Barlow and Robbie Williams had a very public falling out back in 1994. Since then, they have publicly reunited a few times, much to the joy of fans.

This week, Barlow posted a collaboration with Williams on Instagram – the latest in a string of duets. The pair sung Shame, a song about their fallout.

"Sorry to have made you wait so long for this one," Barlow wrote. "Yes the dynamic duo return. Thank you Robbie Williams for taking the time to be part of this. Big hugs (virtually of course)."


Read more: 

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