The English-Irish boy band One Direction became international Pop superstars after competing on season 7 of The X Factor (UK) in 2010, but as individual performers, they failed to make the cut. Lucky for them, guest judge Nicole Scherzinger suggested the boys team up for the Groups category. Although they didn't win the competition, coming in third place behind Rebecca Ferguson and winner Matt Cardle, they signed a recording contract with Simon Cowell's Syco Records.
One Direction's official debut single, "What Makes You Beautiful
," was a smash hit in the UK upon its release in 2011, topping the singles chart and breaking the record for the most pre-ordered Sony Music Entertainment single of all time. With a new contract from Columbia Records, the group rode their wave of success across the pond, where their single debuted at #28 on the Billboard Hot 100, and they were hailed as one of the forerunners of the new British Invasion.
After their whirlwind success in the US, the group, along with Syco Records and Sony Music Entertainment, was slapped with a trademark infringement lawsuit by a band that claimed to be the real One Direction. The California Punk Rock band insisted they'd performed under the name since 2009, before their Pop counterparts even surfaced on The X Factor. They not only demanded a cut of the boy band's profits, but also over $1 million in compensation for the "substantial confusion and substantial damage" caused by the name theft. The lawsuit didn't sit well with the UK One Direction's die-hard fans, who allegedly began sending hate mail and death threats to the US band. They eventually lost and changed their name to Uncharted Shores.
Harry Styles joined the long line of Taylor Swift's ex-suitors after the pair broke up in January 2012. The following summer, while One Direction introduced the Best Pop Video category at the MTV VMAs, the cameras cut to Taylor mouthing the words "shut the f--k up" to bestie Selena Gomez. Taylor's friends and fans have put up a weak fight to defend the singer, who has a track record of spinning her bitterness over each break up into literal hot tracks on her albums. At that same ceremony, she won Best Female Video for "I Knew You Were Trouble
," her song about Harry. If there was any doubt about its subject, she cleared it up in her acceptance speech: "I also want to thank the person who inspired this song because he knows exactly who he is, because now I've got one of these," she said as the cameras panned to Harry.
Niall Horan showed off his bare butt on TV when One Direction appeared on the UK game show A League of Their Own. After talk turned to tattoos, Niall admitted he wanted "Made in Ireland" stamped on his rear. Host James Corden offered to do the job on the air, but ended up giving the singer a picture of his (Corden's) face on one cheek. Fans don't have to worry about Niall's butt being permanently sullied - the "tattoo" was a fake.
Zayn Malik tried to give a hard edge to One Direction when he changed the lyrics to their song "Rock Me
" to "F--k Me" during a performance in Sydney, Australia. They don't call him the "Bradford Bad Boi" for nothing.
Louis Tomlinson came under fire when he endorsed an extreme weight loss product on his Twitter account, which is followed by nearly 14 million fans - most of them young girls. His spokesperson claimed the singer had no idea the "booteashake" smoothie was for weight loss, but that didn't stop fans from swarming the website and buying the entire stock. Not all of his followers were impressed. Some even accused him of promoting eating disorders.
Liam Payne has a phobia of spoons. He admitted to OK magazine: "In restaurants, when I don't know where the spoons have been, I can't use them. But I can use all the other cutlery."
Up All Night debuted at #1 on the American album chart in March 2012. One Direction were the first ever British group to enter at the peak position with their first long player.
One Direction's home entertainment release of their movie This Is Us broke the record in August 2013 for the fastest selling music DVD/Blu-ray in British history when it sold 270,000 copies sold in the first three days. The record was previously held by Michael Jackson's similarly titled 2010 film, This Is It.
The International Federation Of The Phonographic Industry reported that, counting every CD sale, vinyl transaction, download and stream, One Direction were the most successful recording artist in the world during 2013.