One Direction are an English boy band formed in London in 2010, consisting of members Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson. They signed with Simon Cowell's record label Syco Records after being formed and placing third in the seventh series of British television music competition The X Factor. They subsequently signed in North America with Columbia Records.
Buoyed by the international chart-topping debut single, "What Makes You Beautiful", One Direction's debut studio album, Up All Night (2011), topped charts worldwide. Its number one debut on the US Billboard 200 chart, made One Direction the first British group in US chart history to debut at number one with their first album, a feat which was inducted in the Guinness World Records. One Direction supported the album with their Up All Night Tour. One Direction's 2013 World Tour is set to run for most of 2013, with tickets grossing $15.7 million for their Australian and New Zealand dates. The tour is set to be preceded by their second studio album, Take Me Home, which is scheduled for release on 12 November 2012. Besides their musical endeavors, One Direction have supported various charities and foundations, and have commercial endorsements with Pokémon, Nokia, HarperCollins and Hasbro.
Generating millions in combined music, merchandising and touring sales, One Direction have been described as sparking a resurgence in the boy band concept, and of forming part of a new "British Invasion" in the United States. As of June 2012, according to Nick Gatfield, the chairman and chief executive of Sony Music Entertainment UK, One Direction represent a $50 million business empire. By August 2012, One Direction have sold 12 million records. Their achievements include a BRIT Award and 3 MTV Video Music Awards. The Huffington Post proclaimed 2012 "The Year of One Direction".
The X Factor, formation and record deal (2010–11)
In 2010, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson auditioned as solo candidates for the seventh series of British television music competition The X Factor. Failing to progress to the "Boys" category at "judges' houses", after a suggestion by guest judge Nicole Scherzinger, they were put together to form a five-piece boy band at Wembley Arena, London, England, July 2010, during the "bootcamp" stage of the competition, thus qualifying for the "Groups" category. Subsequently, the group got together for two weeks to get to know each other and to practise. Styles came up with the name One Direction as he thought it would sound good when The X Factor announcer read their name out on the live shows. For their qualifying song at "judges' houses", and their first song as a group, One Direction sang an acoustic version of "Torn". In the live shows, after the elimination of F.Y.D., Diva Fever and Belle Amie within four weeks, they were Simon Cowell's last act in the competition. The group quickly gained popularity in the UK. One Direction finished in third place behind runner-up Rebecca Ferguson and winner Matt Cardle. Immediately after the final, their song "Forever Young", which would have been released if they had won The X Factor, was leaked onto the internet. Shortly afterwards it was confirmed, One Direction had been signed by Cowell to a £2 million Syco Records record contract. Recording for their debut album began in January 2011, as they flew to Los Angeles to work with producer RedOne. In February 2011, One Direction and nine other contestants from the series participated in the X Factor Live Tour. The tour saw the group performing for 500,000 people throughout the UK. After the tour concluded in April 2011, the group continued working on their debut album, recording took place in Sweden, UK, and the United States, as One Direction worked with producers Carl Falk, Savan Kotecha, Steve Mac, and Rami Yacoub, among others.
Up All Night and international breakthrough (2011–12)
Released in September 2011, One Direction's debut single "What Makes You Beautiful" debuted at number one on the UK Singles Chart, after becoming the most pre-ordered Sony Music Entertainment single in history. Subsequent singles "Gotta Be You" and "One Thing" both peaked within the UK Singles Chart top ten. In November 2011, they signed a record deal with Columbia Records in North America. "What Makes You Beautiful" was released in the United States in February 2012, where it debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 28, becoming the highest debut for a British act since 1998. It peaked at number 4 and as of July 2012, had sold over 3 million units in the US. Upon arrival in the US in February 2012, One Direction embarked on a radio promotion spree, as well as their first American concert tour as an opening act for Big Time Rush. On 12 March 2012, One Direction made their first television appearance in the US on The Today Show at the Rockefeller Center, an estimated 15,000 fans descended on the plaza. Critically lauded for its appeal to the teenage audience, One Direction's debut studio album, Up All Night, was released globally in early 2012. It became the UK's fastest-selling debut album of 2011, and topped the charts in sixteen countries. Garnering One Direction introduction in the Guinness World Records, it debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart, making One Direction the first British group in US chart history to debut at number one with their debut album. As of July 2012, Up All Night is 2012's second biggest-selling album in the US. As of August 2012, the album has sold over 3 million units worldwide.
On 21 February 2012, One Direction attended the 2012 Brit Awards at which "What Makes You Beautiful" won the BRIT Award for Best British Single. In April 2012, an American band from California, who went by the same name, filed a trademark infringement lawsuit. Subsequently, September 2012, the BBC reported that the UK group won the legal dispute over the right to keep using their band name. As part of the outcome, the US band will now be known as Uncharted Shores while One Direction will keep their name. The name change was announced in a joint statement that also noted both groups were happy with the outcome. Uncharted Shores initially sued One Direction for $1 million in damages and asked for a share of the group's royalties, claiming they had received hate mail and death threats from fans of the UK group. Syco Records, countersued, suggesting the US group was trying to make money from One Direction's success and that the boy band was the first to use the name in US interstate commerce.
In December 2011, One Direction embarked on their first headlining UK concert tour, the Up All Night Tour. In early 2012, they announced Australasian and North American legs of the concert tour, with dates from April to July 2012. The tour, resulting in 62 shows, was met with positivity both critically and commercially. A recording of a concert from the tour, Up All Night: The Live Tour, was released in May 2012. In addition to the DVD topping the charts in twenty-five countries, as of August 2012, its global sales had exceeded 1 million copies. In June 2012, Nick Gatfield, chairman and chief executive officer of Sony Music Entertainment UK, stated how he expects One Direction to represent a $100 million business empire over 2013. "What you might not know about One Direction is that they already represent a $50 million business and that's a figure we expect to double next year". On 1 August 2012, with sales of 8 million singles, 3 million albums and 1 million DVDs, One Direction were presented with discs by Syco and Sony Music. On 12 August 2012, One Direction performed "What Makes You Beautiful" at the 2012 Summer Olympics closing ceremony in London, which represented the handover to Rio de Janeiro as the host of the 2016 Summer Olympics. On 6 September 2012, One Direction performed "One Thing" at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards. They won Best New Artist, Best Pop Video and Most Share-Worthy Video for "What Makes You Beautiful".
Take Me Home and world tour (2012)
In May 2012, One Direction began recording their second studio album in Stockholm, Sweden. In April 2012, The Independent reported that Cowell challenged music's "most successful" songwriters to compete for space on One Direction's second album, after the global success of their debut album. Dee Demirbag, responsible for international artists and repertoire at music publisher, BMG Rights Management in Scandinavia, said: "Breaking a boy band in the US is about as big as it gets in the music industry, so you can imagine the competition to get cuts on the next One Direction album is immense." The same month, Styles stated, "we're always writing on the road and in hotels and airports. We don't ever want our music to sound like a 40-year-old man in an office has written it and given it to us to perform." One Direction's second studio album, Take Me Home, is scheduled for release on 12 November 2012, and is set to be preceded by lead single, "Live While We're Young", which is scheduled for release on 30 September 2012.
One Direction are due to headline New York City's Madison Square Garden on 3 December 2012. One Direction are also set to embark on their second concert tour, the 2013 World Tour, in February 2013. The concert tour thus far consists of 101 shows in the UK, Ireland, North America and Australasia. In the UK and Ireland, ticket sales reached 300,000 within a day of release, which included a six date sell out at London's The O2 Arena. In North America, the group added additional shows due to "overwhelming demand". In Australian and New Zealand markets, tickets grossed US$15.7 million, with all 190,000 tickets being sold for eighteen shows to be held in Australia and New Zealand.
One Direction's debut studio album, Up All Night (2011), is predominantly a pop music record, containing elements of teen pop, dance pop, pop rock and power pop, with electropop and rock influences. Digital Spy's Robert Copsey described the album as a "collection of pg pop rock with killer choruses", while The New York Times considered it "full of easy rock-inflected pop, blithe and sometimes clever." Jason Lipshutz of Billboard opined that the album demonstrates an originality in sound that was "necessary for the revitalization of the boy band movement", comparing their "pop harmonies" to those of boy bands 'N Sync, Backstreet Boys and 98 Degrees. Songs "One Thing" and "What Makes You Beautiful" were particularly noted for the genres of power pop and pop rock, for their "powerhouse" guitar riffs and "forceful" choruses.
Vocally, in live settings, Erica Futterman of Rolling Stone asserted their acoustic performances as both showing off "Horan's ability to play guitar, as well as One Direction's admirable live vocals. There was no need to worry about a backing track or a bum note, a pleasant realization at a pop show." Herald Sun's Cameron Adams opined that One Direction contain "strong pop voices", Melody Lau of National Post wrote similar commentary, "It's easy to get lost in inherent appeal of their perfectly coiffed dos and almost-too-put-together preppy style but somewhere in the midst of all the love-struck squeals of teenage girls are guys who can actually sing and, to a certain extent, entertain." Chris Richards of The Washington Post, elaborated, "As the five traded couplets, it was tough to imagine a future Justin Timberlake, Ricky Martin or Bobby Brown emerging from the pack. No one voice stood out." Jane Stevenson of portal site Canoe wrote, "What I didn't really prepare myself for was that they all can actually sing in concert." Mike Wass of Idolator felt One Direction's "surprisingly accomplished effort" of King of Leon's "Use Somebody" proved that One Direction are "more than capable" of evolving their sound in the future.
Neil McCormick from The Daily Telegraph published an article on the nature of One Direction's success in North America, noting that Americans had left a gap in the market, writing that it took the prominence of Justin Bieber to demonstrate that there was still a market for "clean cut, wholesome, middle class parent friendly pop: cute boys advocating puppy love. And what could be better than one cute boy, if not five?". One Direction have been described as sparking the resurgence in the boy band concept, and as forming part of a new "British Invasion" in the United States. Bill Werde, a representative of Billboard magazine commented, "There's a lot of possibility here, there's a lot of upside, that level of talent with those kinds of looks, it's really a perfect storm for a massive, massive successful phenomenon."
One Direction greet Swedish fans in Stockholm
, May 2012
Sonny Takhar, the chief executive officer of Syco Records, attributes the breakthrough to the power of social media. "Sometimes you feel the song's the star, but it's not like that here – it's the act," he said. "It's a real moment. Social media has become the new radio, it's never broken an act globally like this before." Will Bloomfield, the group's manager, added, "These guys live online, and so do their fans." Their management employs a social media team and the members all tweet themselves, "which helps create the illusion that they couldn't be any closer to their fans." One Direction's Twitter account had amassed 5 million followers as of July 2012, with the account gaining followers at an average of 20,000 per day. Each member is known for his feature; Horan is "the cute one", Malik is "the quiet and mysterious one", Payne is "the sensible one", Styles is "the charming one" and Tomlinson is "the funny one". Horan commented on One Direction as a boy band, "People think that a boy band is air-grabs and [being] dressed in all one colour. We're boys in a band. We're trying to do something different from what people would think is the typical kind of boy band. We're trying to do different kinds of music and we're just trying to be ourselves, not squeaky clean." Leah Collins, writing for the National Post, remarked that One Direction had succeeded on the latter front, "For the most part, that just means the group presents themselves as typical, goofy and uncensored teenage boys – posting jokey YouTube videos, for instance, or boozing at awards shows." Writing for The Observer, Kitty Empire opined, "Dance routines are fundamental to the boy band – or at least, to 90s Take That and late-00s JLS. One Direction fulfil a great many boy band prerequisites (looks, soppy lyrics, tune-grasp, fame-lust) but their lack of routines points to the subtle digressions afoot here." Jon Caramanica of The New York Times noted, "The story of boy bands is inevitably the story of disbandment", although he felt, "Given that the band has built some dissonance into its act, it may take awhile for that to happen to One Direction."
One Direction have released three books, published by HarperCollins, the books contains personal snaps, unseen photographs, as well as written accounts of every member of One Direction. The first One Direction-licensed book, One Direction: Forever Young (Our Official X Factor Story), was released on 17 February 2011. The book reached the number one spot on The Sunday Times Best Seller list. Their second book, One Direction: The Official Annual 2012, was published on 1 September 2011. On 15 September 2011, One Direction released their third book Dare to Dream: Life as One Direction. The book was also able to secure the top spot in The Sunday Times Non Fiction Hardback Bestseller list. Dare to Dream: Life as One Direction was published in the United States on 22 May 2012, subsequently topping The New York Times Best Seller list.
In 2011, One Direction released their first calendar for 2012, the One Direction 2012 Calendar. In December 2011, amazon.com revealed that One Direction have achieved the top selling celebrity calendar of all time in the UK. One Direction became the brand ambassadors for Pokémon Black and White since April 2011. They starred in a series of television ads, as well as special events performing for and meeting fans. They also launched limited edition Nokia C2-02 and Nokia C3-00 phones, which contain exclusive content such as One Direction wallpapers, ringtones, and behind the scenes videos of the band. In April 2012, Hasbro announced an agreement with One Direction to produce a new line of toys and games based on the group. The range will be sold globally in the autumn of 2012, with the exception of the UK and Ireland.
In 2010, when One Direction were contestants on The X Factor, they and their fellow series seven contestants released a cover of David Bowie's "Heroes" in aid of Help for Heroes. The song, said to have been recorded in the week beginning 18 October 2010, was released as a charity single in aid of Help for Heroes, a charity which supports injured servicemen and women. All sixteen finalists performed the song on 20 November 2010's results show. The single entered both the Irish Singles Chart on 25 November 2010 and the UK Singles Chart on 28 November 2010 at number one. In 2012, One Direction contributed to the fundraiser cookbook Dish for a Wish. The proceeds from sales of the book benefit the Rays of Sunshine Children's Charity, an organisation that grants the wishes of sick children in the UK. On 9 May 2012, One Direction visited the ill children of the charity. In April 2012, One Direction teamed up with Charitybuzz to help raise money in aid for the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity. VIP tickets to meet the band in person on their North American leg of their Up All Night Tour were made available with the proceeds going to the children's charity. In April 2012, they also aided the California Earthquake Authority (CEA) through bidding auctions to meet the band. In July 2012, One Direction teamed up with British Airways in a 'text-to-win' competition, which was launched on social networking websites, giving eight fans the chance to fly with the band on an one hour flight organised by British Airways. Money raised from the competition went to Flying Start, British Airways' global charity partnership with Comic Relief, to help children in the UK and some of the world's poorest countries.
Niall James Horan, born 13 September 1993 , is from Mullingar, County Westmeath, Ireland. Born to mother Maura Gallagher and father Bobby Horan, he has an older brother named Greg. Their parents divorced when he was five. He and his brother lived between each of their homes for a few years before eventually deciding to live with their father in Mullingar. Horan was a pupil at Coláiste Mhuire, a boys' Christian Brothers school. He was in the school choir, performing seasonally around Christmas.
Prior to participating in The X Factor, he performed around his homeland, including as a support act for Lloyd Daniels in Dublin. Horan has been playing guitar since his childhood. Horan has also stated that he is a "big swing" fan, citing favourite artists Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Michael Bublé. Horan also cites rock music favourably and is a fan of The Eagles, Bon Jovi and The Script.
Zain Javadd "Zayn" Malik, born 12 January 1993 in St. Luke's Hospital, is from Bradford, West Yorkshire, England. Born to British Pakistani father Yaser and an English mother, Tricia Malik (née Brannan), he has one older sister Doniya, and two younger sisters Waliyha and Safaa. He grew up in East Bowling, and was a pupil at Lower Fields Primary School and went to Tong High School, a state comprehensive school. Malik did not fit in at his first two schools due to his mixed heritage, revealing that when he and his older sister moved schools he felt he fitted in better. After moving schools at the age twelve, Malik, states he started taking pride in his appearance.
On auditioning for The X Factor, Malik said "I was looking for an experience". He cites urban music as his main musical influence, growing up, he was into R&B and rap. For his X Factor audition, he performed the Mario R&B song, "Let Me Love You". He as well as other members of One Direction further notes artists such as Bruno Mars, as a "dream collaborator." Malik is addicted to smoking cigarettes; in late 2011, he expressed his desire to quit. Malik once tweeted, "La ila ha ill lalla ho muhammed door rasoolalah", the tweet is regarded as a common declaration of faith among Muslims meaning: "There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is the prophet of Allah." In May 2012, Malik confirmed he is dating Little Mix member Perrie Edwards.
Liam James Payne, born 29 August 1993 , is from Wolverhampton, West Midlands, England. Born three weeks early to mother Karen and father Geoff, he has two older sisters, Ruth and Nicola. Until the age of four, Payne had regular tests done in hospital as doctors noticed one of his kidneys was scarred and dysfunctional. To help cope with the pain, he had 32 injections in his arm in the morning and evening as a child. As a student, Payne was heavily involved in sports. Payne was bullied in secondary school and took up boxing lessons at the age of twelve. He was a music technology student at City of Wolverhampton College. Payne had once performed in front of a 26,000 crowd at a Wolverhampton Wanderers' football match.
Payne first auditioned in 2008 to The X Factor's fifth series when he was fourteen. He made it to the judges' houses, but Cowell thought he was not ready for the competition and asked him to come back in two years. Payne cites Justin Timberlake as one of his biggest influences. He also says he draws inspiration from Take That member Gary Barlow when performing. He is currently in a relationship with dancer Danielle Peazer, who has performed with acts such as The Saturdays and Jessie J. They met on The X Factor in 2010 and have been in a relationship ever since. Peazer has received death threats and other forms of cyber bullying on social networking website Twitter, due to her relationship with Payne.
Harry Edward Styles, born 1 February 1994  is from the village of Holmes Chapel, Cheshire, England. He is a former pupil at Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School, a state comprehensive school. Born to mother Anne Cox and father Des Styles, he has an older sister, Gemma. He was seven when their parents divorced, his mother later getting remarried. Following the divorce, Styles, his older sister and mother moved further out into the Cheshire countryside. At the age of twelve he moved back to Holmes Chapel. Styles was the lead singer for the band White Eskimo with band members lead guitarist Haydn Morris, bass guitarist Nick Clough and drummer Will Sweeny. They had once entered a Battle of the Bands competition, which they won. Prior to participating in The X Factor, the then sixteen-year old Styles had a part-time job at the W. Mandeville Bakery in Holmes Chapel.
As a child, Styles loved singing, noting Elvis Presley as one of his influences. He also cites Presley for his musical beginnings. Styles also cites contemporaries, Foster the People, Coldplay and Kings of Leon among his influences. Styles states that The X Factor gave him "a lot more" confidence as a performer and singer. Styles says that he often looks to Coldplay front man Chris Martin for inspiration when performing on stage. Styles also states that The Beatles had a profound influence on him growing up, as his father would play their music. He briefly dated English television presenter Caroline Flack, which caused widespread media controversy over their fifteen-year age gap.
Louis William Tomlinson, born Louis Troy Austin, 24 December 1991 , is from Doncaster, South Yorkshire, England. Born to mother Johannah Poulston and father Troy Austin, his parents split when he was young and he took on his stepfather Mark Tomlinson's name. He has five younger half-sisters, and two of them had roles as babies on television series Fat Friends, on which he would go along and serve as an extra. After Fat Friends, he attended an acting school in Barnsley. He had small parts in an ITV1 drama film If I Had You and BBC's Waterloo Road. He was a sixth form student at Hall Cross School, a state comprehensive school, and a former pupil of the Hayfield School. He revealed that he failed his first year of A levels at the Hayfield School. He ended up going back to Hall Cross and started A levels over again. As a student at Hall Cross, Tomlinson starred in several musical productions. He had a number of jobs, including at a Vue cinema and at Doncaster Rovers football stadium as a waiter in their hospitality suites.
Tomlinson revealed that landing the lead role of Danny Zuko in a high school musical production of Grease motivated him to audition for The X Factor. Tomlinson cites Robbie Williams as his biggest influence and idol. In an interview with Now Magazine, he stated: "I've always loved [Robbie]. He's just so cheeky, he can get away with anything. His performances are unbelievable." He also admires recording artist Ed Sheeran, describing him as "phenomenal." Tomlinson is currently in a relationship with Manchester University politics and sociology student, Eleanor Calder.
Awards and nominations
One Direction have been recipients of a BRIT Award—winning their first with "What Makes You Beautiful" for Best British Single at the 2012 BRIT Awards, a NME Award, two Kids' Choice Awards, and three MTV Video Music Awards, among other awards. One Direction won all three awards, they were nominated for at the 2012 Teen Choice Awards.
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