One Direction

  • English/Irish pop-boy band formed in 2010 in London England. Members of the group were Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson and Zayn Malik. All members provided vocals and songwriting to the group. Horan also contributed guitar instrumentation for the group – other instrumentation was provided by session musicians.
  • In 2010, all 5 boys were teenagers, and they auditioned individually for the British singing competition The X Factor. None of them got through the bootcamp stage of the show. Recognizing their talent, X Factor judge Simon Cowell suggested that they form a 5-piece vocal group and try out again in the “Groups” category. The boys practiced together for a couple of weeks, and they went forward, choosing the name One Direction, as suggested by Styles. They went on to end up in third place in the competition, and Cowell immediately signed them to a recording contract.
  • Already a sensation in the UK, they toured with other talent from the TV show in early 2011, and their popularity at home soared. They recorded their debut album during the first half of 2011, and their debut single What Makes You Beautiful was released that September. Two months later, their album Up All Night was released. It became the fastest selling debut album in the UK that year. In February 2012, the band was introduced to audiences in America when the album was released in the U.S. Up All Night topped the U.S. album chart (the first UK group ever to have their debut album reached #1 in the U.S.) and was certified 3x platinum. What Makes You Beautiful peaked at #4 on the Hot 100 and at #1 in the UK charts. A second single, One Thing, reached #9 in the UK and #39 in the U.S.
  • In late 2012, One Direction’s second album was released – Take Me Home. It quickly reached #1 in over 35 countries, and they were the first group since 2008 to have 2 albums peak at #1 in the U.S. in the same year. The single Live While We’re Young reached #3 on the Hot 100 chart and Little Things topped the UK chart and reached #33 in the U.S.
  • Two more albums released in 2013 and 2014 continued their success – both were #1 albums in many countries, with Midnight Memories certified 3x platinum and Four certified platinum. Six singles charted in the top 40, as Best Song Ever peaked at #2 and Story of My Life became their second-best selling single ever in the U.S., peaking at #6 on the Hot 100 chart and #1 on the Adult Top 40 chart.
  • In 2015, Malik left the group to start a solo career. One Direction continued as a 4 person group and they continued to tour – their 2015 concert tour was the second-highest grossing tour of all artists that year, with ticket sales over $200 million. In late 2015, their fifth album was released – Made in the A.M. It was another big success, certified platinum, and it reached #2 on the album chart in the U.S. (their only album not to top the chart). The single Drag Me Down reached #3 on the Hot 100 and Perfect made it to #10.
  • Soon after the release of Made in the A.M., the band announced that they would go on hiatus for 18 months. Their last televised performance was on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve at the end of 2015. In January 2016, there were rumors that the band’s split was permanent, which they denied. By 2017, all members had released solo singles, and the 18 months came and went, with no indication that they would reform.
  • The One Direction phenomena was a major success in the first half of the 10s – no doubt that Simon Cowell made a lot of money thanks to their catchy power-pop music and their carefully managed careers. Beloved by teens all over the world, they won 6 Billboard Music Awards, 7 American Music Awards, and 28 Teen Choice Awards. The boys are getting closer to 30 years old – my guess is that it won’t be long until some kind of reunion will happen. Oh, and by the way…the songs are really good. Watch the video for biggest hit, What Makes You Beautiful.

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