Swift Rise to Success
One of the most successful boy bands of the past decade, One Direction went from being complete strangers to becoming one of the most recognizable bands worldwide - all in a matter of months. The band consists of five male vocalists that hail from England and Ireland: Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, and Louis Tomlinson. Less than two years after the release of their first album, the band sold over eight million copies of their albums worldwide, along with over 14 million singles.
2010 - With Simon Cowell's Help, Stars Are Born
In July 2010, each of the members of One Direction auditioned individually for the British singing competition, "The X Factor." Though none of them advanced on their own, one of the judges advised them to compete as a group for the remainder of the show. The five soon found they had a natural chemistry, and while they only finished in third place, judge Simon Cowell decided to sign the popular fledgling group to his label, Sysco Records.
2011 - Debut Album, “Up All Night," Released
After a brief U.K. X Factor Live Tour in 2011, One Direction headed to the studio to record what would become their debut studio album, "Up All Night." The group's rookie release peaked at No. 1 on the charts in 17 countries, including the United States, Sweden, and Australia. The album also spawned the summer pop hit, "What Makes You Beautiful," which is four times certified platinum in Canada, Sweden, and the United States. In the wake of such widespread international success, One Direction embarked on its first world trek, the Up All Night Tour, which brought the band to 10 countries on three continents.
2012 & Beyond - New Album, World Tour Keep Momentum Going
Their follow up to "Up All Night" was 2012's "Take Me Home," which proved even more successful than the freshman album. It peaked at No. 1 in 37 countries, with over four million copies sold worldwide. The group's Take Me Home Tour takes the quintet to 22 countries on four continents, for a total of 120 shows in 2013. One Direction has become one of the most sought-after concert events on the market today. Roughly 300,000 tickets for the 2013 arena tour of the United Kingdom and Ireland sold out in the first day of the tour announcement. Relying heavily on connecting with fans via social media, the group has catapulted to success thanks in great part to their devoted worldwide fan base.
From left: Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Zayn Malik, Niall Horan
One Direction's musical style is primarily classified under the pop genre, but the quintet adds elements from dance, electronic, and rock music into various songs. The members cite a wide range of artists as their influences, such as Frank Sinatra, Justin Timberlake, Elvis Presley, and Kings of Leon.
One Direction has won awards for their music in over 10 countries worldwide, including the U.S., Japan, Brazil, Spain, and their home in the U.K. The group won MTV's Artist of the Year distinction in 2012, and their debut album, "Up All Night," won the People's Choice Award for favorite album. "Up All Night" was also the first debut album from any British band to debut at No. 1 on the U.S. charts, earning the group a Guinness World Record.
On their U.S. tours, the One Direction members have been known to ask for U.K. staples like Yorkshire Tea, English breakfast tea, and Irish sausages. The group also maintains a supply of specially brewed peppermint tea from a U.K.-based organic tea company.