One Direction (Formed 2010)
One Direction are a British boy band, formed in 2010 on the UK TV talent show X Factor. The band's members (Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Zayn Malik and Niall Horan) all auditioned for the show as solo members but didn't quite make the grade. However, the X Factor judges could still see potential in all of them, so asked them to return as a group, which they did. They may not have won that competition (that honour went to solo artist Matt Cardle) but they have gone on to become the most successful act from that year's show, by a long shot.
One Direction: X Factor
It was Harry Styles that came up with the name One Direction, once the band had been asked to get together to remain in the show. Along with the other groups, Diva Fever, Belle Amie and F.Y.D., One Direction had Simon Cowell as their mentor on the show. Within four weeks, they were the last of Cowell's acts still in the contest.
Eventually, they finished in third place behind the winner, Matt Cardle and runner up, Rebecca Ferguson. Not long after the show had ended, it was announced that the band had signed to Simon Cowell's label; Syco for a reported £2 million.
One Direction: Life After X Factor
In January 2011, One Direction began recording their debut album getting together the One Direction songs in Los Angeles, where they worked with RedOne on production duties. The following month, they embarked on the now-traditional X Factor Live tour, with the other finalists, where they performed to around 500,000 people around the UK.
The band's debut single, 'What Makes You Beautiful,' was released in September 2011 and went straight to the top of the UK singles chart. It also broke the record for pre-sales for Sony Music Entertainment. Their follow-up tracks, 'Gotta Be You' and 'One Thing' were both top ten hits and the band went on to sign a deal with Columbia Records in North America.
When 'What Makes You Beautiful' was released in the USA in February 2012, it debuted at number 28 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it the highest charting debut for a British band since 1998. The track peaked at number four in the US and has since sold over 3 million units Stateside.
Up All Night was the name of the debut album from One Direction. Released globally in early 2012, it became the fastest selling debut album of 2011 in the UK and became a chart-topper in 16 countries around the world. This included the US, where One Direction became the first British band in US chart history to top the Billboard 200 chart with a debut album.
Having earned themselves a spot in the Guinness World Records, One Direction then went on to find awards success. At the 2012 BRIT Awards they won Best British Single for 'What Makes You Beautiful' and performed 'One Thing' at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards, cementing their popularity on both sides of the Atlantic.
The band started recording their second studio album, Take Me Home, in Sweden, in May 2012, with a scheduled release date of November 2012. The debut single to be released from the album, 'Live While We're Young,' found worldwide success and shifted 314,000 units in its opening week in the US. To promote the album, they booked a concert in New York City's Madison Square Garden in December 2012.
The various members of One Direction found that they very quickly became tabloid fodder and found their private lives were making headline news. In particular, Harry Styles, whose relationship with the Xtra Factor presenter Caroline Flack was rarely out of the headlines - in no small part due to their 12-year age difference. Their relationship was short-lived however and ended in 2012.