It took more than 4,000 pairs of shoes to bring former One Direction member Liam Payne to Notre Dame Academy in Hingham.
That’s what students collected to win AMP 103.3’s Kick It With Liam contest, which earned them a private show by the singer. The gently-used shoes will be donated to the Big Brother Big Sister Foundation of Boston.
At about 1 p.m. Thursday, Payne took the stage in the school’s auditorium and sang his hits “Strip That Down” and “Bedroom Floor” for students, many of whom knew every word. As for those words . . . administrators made peace with the fact that Payne’s solo hits are not exactly G-rated. Katie Miller, the academy’s director of communication, said concerns about language had been “communicated to the artist.”
“We know they listen to it,” she said. “He’s a pop star.”
17-year-old Kaitlin McCormick, a Notre Dame junior who brought the contest to the attention of her classmates, and worked with her friends Madeline White, Sheila Foley, Molly Kerrigan, and Danielle Thompson to organize the shoe drive, said parents shouldn’t take Payne’s lyrics too seriously.
“They’re just words,” she said, grinning. “They don’t mean anything, that’s my philosophy.”
McCormick said it had been difficult to get through morning classes knowing the concert was in the afternoon. She took a math test just before the show.
Asked what was on the test, McCormick said, “I don’t know. I’m just so excited.”
Payne, who’s 24, mostly focused on the music during his short set, but he did congratulate students on their achievement — and for helping others. “Really fantastic,” he said of the shoe drive. “Please keep it up.”
Miller said students at Notre Dame Academy also led a recent collection for a local food pantry. They like to work for the community, even without the promise of a performance by a One Directioner.
“I think it speaks to the character of our girls,” she said. “It’s in the fabric of who we are as a Catholic school.”