London-based One Direction is the most popular boy band today. The group is under contract with Syco Records of Simon Cowell, who immediately signed the quintet after they finished third in the UK’s ‘The X Factor’ 2010. One Direction songs simply have a unique factor. Music analysts cite the far reach of social media for the group’s phenomenal success.
No one can underestimate the success of this young group. One Direction is somehow creating a modern-day British invasion in the US. Who can contest that assertion when this boy band has so far sold more than 14 million copies of their singles/songs and around 8 million units of their albums in the country? Aside from that commercial success, the group also has a roster of accolades, including recognitions from MTV Music Awards and BRIT Award. As of June 2012, One Direction has been representing a business empire worth up to $50 million. No less than Billboard proclaimed the group as the Top New Artist for 2012, while popular blog site The Huffington Post tagged 2012 as ‘The Year of One Direction.’
How did the group form? In 2010, group members Zayn Malik, Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, and Harry Styles auditioned as individual candidates for the seventh season of The X Factor UK. After all of them failed to get into the ‘Boys’ category, celebrity judge Nicole Scherzinger suggested that they form a boy band. During the bootcamp phase of the contest, their new group succeeded to make it into the ‘Groups’ category. Within just two weeks, all five of them had to know each other and rehearse for their performances. Styles coined the name One Direction. The boy band may have failed to get the title during the finals night, but Cowell immediately signed them into his Syco Records. The rest, as they say, was history.
In January 2011, One Direction started working on their first album in Los Angeles, London, and Stockholm. During their spare time, they joined the X Factor Live Tour. In November 2011, the group signed a record contract with Columbia Records North America. In early 2012, their debut CD ‘Up All Night’ was finally released. The carrier single ‘What Makes You Beautiful’ took the world by storm. It paved the way for other One Direction songs. The album debuted on the No. 1 spot of US Billboard 200, making them the first British group to debut on the peak position in the chart.
One Direction’s second album ‘Take Me Home’ was launched in November 2012. Cowell reportedly challenged the best songwriters to compete with each other to get involved in the album. In May the same year, the group started recording another international album in Stockholm. Its carrier single ‘Live While We’re Young’ was released in September 2012 and climbed all music charts around the world.
Another milestone came when the group got the privilege to perform One Direction songs before the presence of Queen Elizabeth II via the 2012 Royal Variety Performance. The boys also headlined a successful show at the Madison Square Garden in New York on December 3, 2012. In August 2013, One Direction is set to release its 3D biopic film produced by Sony Pictures Entertainment.