The British are coming! The British are coming! And we are not joking! Ever heard of One Direction? No? Well, you’ve got a lot of catching up to do. They’re the ones who made the British Invasion in North America even possible! One Direction is the newest British-Irish Boy-Band who consists of Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Zayn Malik, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson. They came off of the British show X-factor and have now become a worldwide teen sensation.
Niall Horan, born on September 13th, is 18 years old and grew up in Mullingar, County Westmeath, Ireland. He has been singing and playing guitar from a young age. His family noticed he had some musical talent when they heard him singing along to a song on the radio in the car. Some of his musical heroes include Michel Buble, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Ed Sheeran. It is rumored that for their next album, Niall has written a few songs.
Liam Payne is 18 as well and grew up in Wolverhampton, West Midlands, England. Liam was bullied as a child, therefore taking up running and boxing to defend himself. When he first auditioned for the X-Factor in 2008 he failed to make it past the judge’s house. Simon thought that he was not prepared for the live shows and asked him to come back in 2 years. Some of Liam’s musical heroes include Justin Timberlake and The Script.
Zayn Malik is 19 and is from Bradford, West Yorkshire, England. Zayn auditioned for the X-Factor “looking for an experience”. He began singing from a young age as well. Some of Zayn’s musical inspirations include Michael Jackson, User, Chris Brown and Ne-Yo. The X-Factor has defiantly given Zayn an experience, as well as confidence.
Harry Styles is the youngest of the band. He grew up in Holmes Chapel, Cheshire, England. Harry was the lead singer of a band called White Eskimo before he auditioned for X-Factor. From a young age, Harry loved signing. Some of his musical heroes include Elvis Presley, as well as Foster the People, John Mayer, and Coldplay.
Louis Tomlinson born on December 24th is the oldest of the band. He is 20 years old. Louis is from Doncaster, South Yorkshire, England. Unlike his other band members, Louis developed a liking towards music as a teenager, when he went out for the school musical Grease. Landing the lead role gave him the confidence and encouragement he needed to audition for the X-Factor. Some of his musical inspirations include Robbie Williams and Ed Sheeran.
On the X-Factor
The unique thing about this boy-band is that they were put together. Niall, Liam, Zayn, Harry and Louis all auditioned for the X-Factor as solo artists. They made all made it past the first solo audition but failed to make it through boot camp. After being rejected, Simon Cowell decided to surprise them by putting them together and allowing continuing in the competition in the groups category.
In the next five weeks, these five boys became a band, as well as best friends. They got together for a week at member Harry Style’s step-father’s home to get to know each other and practice for their performance at the judge’s house. Along with practicing, they also had to complete the challenge of choosing a band name. After endless hours of brainstorming, it was Harry who thought of the name One Direction.
Then next step in the competition was the performance at the judge’s house. This is also when they discovered that their mentor was Simon Cowell, making the boys extremely happy and excited. The boys performed their acoustic version of the song Torn, which was enough to get them through to the live shows.
During the live shows, the boys gained mega popularity especially with the females. After 4 weeks, they became the only remaining group and Simon’s only task. He wanted them on top. The boys worked hard covering many songs by artists like Coldplay, Kelly Clarkson, Pink, The Beatles, Elton John, Snow Patrol, Rhianna, and many more. The boys ended up in third place, right behind runner up Rebecca Ferguson and winner Matt Cardle.
After the Show:
In January of 2011, Simon Cowell signed a 2 million Pound recording contracts with his company Syco Records. From there, they went on the X-Factor Live Arena Tour with the other top 10 contestants from the show. When the tour ended in April of 2011, they began working on their debut album, which would later be called Up All Night.
In September 2011, they released their first official single, What Makes You Beautiful, which debuted as number one on UK Single Charts. By February 2012, the song was released in America. On March 12, 2012, the boys performed on The Today Show, bringing in an estimated 15,000 screaming girls. Soon after that, their album was released, selling over 2.7 million copies worldwide! Their next album is scheduled to be released in late 2012.
One Direction had tour to showcase their first album Up All Night. It began in 2011 and ended in June of 2012. They had 62 shows in total, 26 being in Europe, 7 in Australia and New Zealand, and 26 in North America.
Somewhere in between all of this, the boys managed to win a Brit Award for the Best British Single.
Along with getting their second single ready for sales, the boys are preparing for their sold out 2014 world tour. They will tour 3 different continents, and will reform a total of 101 shows in 7 and half months. There will be a total of 40 shows in Europe, 38 in North America, and 23 in Australia and New Zealand.
Along with their tours and albums, One Direction has appeared on many shows. They were musical guests on British show Dancing On Ice, American Show Saturday Night Live (SNL) and Icarly. The boys also have 3 published books about their journey on the X-Factor, their tours, and how their lives have changed.