ARTIST

One Direction

Following the success of JLS and the Wanted, X-Factor contestants One Direction were the next group of heartthrobs to help revive the boy band concept. The quintet outdid all of its predecessors, becoming the biggest boy band since Take That, selling millions of albums and singles, filling arenas and making movies, all while hitting number one many times over across the world with undeniably hooky songs and plenty of boy-next-door charm. The group was formed by Niall Horan from Mullingar, Ireland; Zayn Malik from Bradford; Harry Styles from Cheshire; Louis Tomlinson from Doncaster, and Liam Payne from Wolverhampton (the latter had previously reached the judge's house stages of The X-Factor as a 14-year-old back in 2008). Each originally entered 2010's seventh series of The X Factor as individuals, but following a suggestion from guest judge Nicole Scherzinger, they were grouped together to become One Direction. Mentored by Simon Cowell, they soon became one of the favorites to win the show, thanks to renditions of Kelly Clarkson's "My Life Would Suck Without You," Elton John's "Something About the Way You Look Tonight," and Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart." However, despite receiving a standing ovation for their duet with Robbie Williams ("She's the One") in the live final, they eventually finished third behind Rebecca Ferguson and winner Matt Cardle. Spotting the potential of five Justin Bieber-esque teen pin-ups, Cowell signed them to his Syco label in a two-million dollar deal, and after performing on the X-Factor tour, the quintet began work on its debut album with Savan Kotecha (Britney Spears, Enrique Iglesias). Following a sponsorship deal with Nintendo DS and a book, Forever Young, named after their cover of the Alphaville classic that was intended to be their winner's song, they released their first single, "What Makes You Beautiful," in late 2011. The full-length album Up All Night followed soon after. In 2012, One Direction became the first British band to debut on top of the Billboard 200 list when Up All Night sold over 176,000 copies during its first week of release in America. In late 2012, One Direction released their sophomore album, Take Me Home. Highlighting more of the band's melodic pop, Take Me Home featured songs and production from Sweden's Carl Falk, Rami Yacoub, and Savan Kotecha, who worked on Up All Night, as well as contributions from singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran. The album proved to be another smash and topped charts around the world, earning multi-platinum certification in half-a-dozen countries. The singles "Live While We're Young" and "Little Things" also hit number one across the globe, and "Kiss You" reached the Top Ten in the U.S. One Direction then embarked on a globe-spanning tour in which the band played over 100 shows, including six sold-out nights at London's massive O2 Arena. At the same time, they were being filmed by director Morgan Spurlock for This Is Us, a mix of documentary and concert footage that proved to be successful at the box office when it was released in August of 2013. While they were touring, One Direction also began work on their third album, Midnight Memories. Released just in time for the 2013 holidays, the record featured songwriting input from all the members, a new production team, and some new folk and '80s hair metal influences. It nearly outdid Take Me Home and Up All Night, peaking at number one in seven countries and spawning the singles "Best Song Ever" and "Story of My Life." The group toured the world for most of 2014, but still found time to record a fourth album, which was released in late 2014. Produced by the same team who handled Midnight Memories, Four similarly looked back to the '80s for inspiration and featured a new song from old friend Ed Sheeran. A pair of platinum singles, "Steal My Girl" and "Night Changes," helped the album hit number one in nearly 20 countries. The band returned to the road and a busy promotional schedule in 2015, during which Malik was often absent. He left the tour due to stress in early March, then officially quit the band a few days later. (He went on to become the first to pursue a solo career.) The four remaining members continued touring, and in July released "Drag Me Down," the first single from their fifth album, Made in the A.M. Following the September announcement of the album, the bandmembers also revealed that, after the promotional efforts for the album were over, they'd be going on hiatus during 2016. Made in the A.M. was released in November of 2015, and featured the singles "Infinity," "Perfect," "What a Feeling," and "History." It performed very well commercially, peaking at number one in the U.K. and number two in the U.S.

One Direction (commonly abbreviated as 1D) are an English-Irish pop boy band based in London, composed of Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, and previously, Zayn Malik until his departure from the band on 25 March 2015. The group signed with Simon Cowell's record label Syco Records after forming and finishing third in the seventh series of the British televised singing competition The X Factor in 2010. Propelled to international success by social media, One Direction's four albums, Up All Night (2011), Take Me Home (2012), Midnight Memories (2013) and Four (2014) topped charts in most major markets, and generated hit singles including "What Makes You Beautiful", "Live While We're Young", and "Story of My Life". Their fifth studio album, Made in the A.M., was released in November 2015.nTheir achievements include six Brit Awards, four MTV Video Music Awards, eleven MTV Europe Music Awards, seven American Music Awards (including Artist of the Year in 2014 and 2015), and nineteen Teen Choice Awards out of nineteen nominations, among many others. According to Nick Gatfield, the chairman and chief executive of Sony Music Entertainment UK, One Direction represented a $50 million business empire by June 2012. They were proclaimed 2012's "Top New Artist" by Billboard. According to the Sunday Times Rich List, by April 2013, they had an estimated personal combined wealth of 25 million ($41.2m) making them the second-wealthiest musicians in the UK under 30 years of age. In 2014, Forbes listed them the second-highest earning celebrities under 30, with the group earning an estimated $75 million from June 2013 to June 2014. In June 2015, Forbes listed their earnings at $130 million for the previous twelve months, and ranked them the fourth highest earning celebrities in the world.nAfter the release of Four, One Direction became the first band in the U.S. Billboard 200 history to have their first four albums debut at number one. Their third album, Midnight Memories, was the biggest-selling album worldwide of 2013 despite being released in late November. The band's Where We Are Tour in support of Midnight Memories and Four, was the highest-grossing concert tour in 2014, and the highest-grossing tour ever by a vocal group, generating $282 million. In 2014, Billboard named One Direction Artist of the Year. The band is temporarily on a hiatus that began in January 2016, which is expected to last around 18 months.

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