One Direction are a British-Irish boy band formed in London in 2010, consisting of members Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson. They signed to 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 later signed in North America to 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 around the world. It became the UK's fastest-selling debut album of 2011 and debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200, making One Direction the first British group in US chart history to debut at number one with their first album. In 2012, "What Makes You Beautiful" won the BRIT Award for Best British Single. 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, and is set to be preceded by their second studio album, Take Me Home, which is scheduled for release in November 2012.
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. Their work has earned them awards and nominations. One Direction have supported various charities and foundations, and have commercial endorsements with Pokémon, Nokia, HarperCollins and Hasbro. They also appeared as themselves in the iCarly episode "iGo One Direction" (2012).
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 Â£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. Fanart Banner