Danny Clinch/David Needleman exclusively for Billboard

When you think of artists who are influenced by The Eagles, U.K.-based pop band One Direction might not immediately come to mind. However, one of the group’s members, Niall Horan, not only worships the Rock & Roll Hall of Famers, he tells Billboard that he and Don Henley have a father/son relationship.

The Irish singer, who has launched a solo career while One Direction is on hiatus, reveals to the magazine, “Don Henley and I talk every couple weeks or so. It’s [crazy]. I call him ‘dad.’ He calls me ‘son.'”

Not only that, but Horan says his latest solo single, “Slow Hands,” was influenced by Henley’s 1980s solo hits, like “Boys of Summer.” As for Don, he couldn’t be more proud of his “son.”

“Niall is a solid guy whose focus is right where it ought to be: on songwriting,” Henley tells Billboard. “He’s got the Irish charm and a healthy, self-effacing sense of humor, which is an essential ­survival tool in this business.”

He adds, “I think that Niall will evolve into a resonant, thoughtful voice for his generation.”

Don and The Eagles will be performing at The Classic West and The Classic East festivals this summer in Los Angeles and New York City. As previously reported, late Eagles founder Glenn Frey‘s son Deacon will take his dad’s place at the concerts, which also will feature Steely Dan and The Doobie Brothers.

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