2010 - present (on hiatus)
In early 2010, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson and Zayn Malik auditioned as solo performers for the seventh season of British reality/talent show, The X Factor (UK). For Liam Payne, it was his second audition process. Payne had first auditioned in 2008, but was eliminated during the judge's houses portion, due to his age and inexperience. For Louis Tomlinson, it was his third audition process and his first to qualify past the initial producer's auditions, which took place in April 2010. Each soloist succeeded through to the bootcamp stage, but all were eliminated at its conclusion. Simon Cowell and three other judges decided the groups were not evenly split that year, and decided to call back ten eliminated solo contestants. These contestants were placed into two groups, allowing them all to continue competing. In August 2010, all five members of One Direction spent two weeks living at Harry's father's bungalow in Cheshire. One Direction were the favorite act to win throughout the 2010 season of X Factor, generating massive unprecedented fan and media hype. Ultimately, they finished in third place behind runner up Rebecca Ferguson and winner Matt Cardle. Simon Cowell signed One Direction to his record label, Syco Music, on December 13, 2010.
One Direction's debut single, "What Makes You Beautiful" was released on 11 September 2011, and debuted on the United Kingdom Singles Chart at #1 on September 18, 2011. It became the third fastest selling single of 2011, selling 153,965 copies. The song also reached #1 in Ireland, Mexico and Scotland. It peaked at #4 in the United States, but reached #1 on the US Dance Club Songs chart. It is one of the best selling singles of all time, with over 7 million copies sold worldwide. Their debut album Up All Night was released on November 18, 2011 and became one of the best-selling albums of the year. Three more singles were released - Gotta Be You, One Thing and More Than This - with One Thing becoming a worldwide top ten hit. One Direction embarked on their first headlining tour, the Up All Night Tour, on December 18, 2011.
The band's second album Take Me Home was released on November 12, 2012. The singles Live While We're Young, Kiss You and Little Things all found immense success, with Live While We're Young debuting at #3 on the United States Billboard Hot 100, and Little Things being certified platinum after shipping 1,000,000 copies. One Direction embarked on their second headlining tour, the Take Me Home Tour, on February 23, 2013. On August 20, 2013, One Direction's debut concert film, This Is Us, premiered worldwide.
One Direction's third album, Midnight Memories, was released on November 25, 2013, and presented a rockier sound from the band, as well as a departure from the bubblegum pop sound and lyrics. The album also saw the band creative contributions increase with Louis Tomlinson and Liam Payne each co-writing ten tracks, Harry Styles co-writing five tracks, Niall Horan co-writing three tracks and Zayn Malik co-writing two. Four singles were released - Best Song Ever, Story of My Life, Midnight Memories and You & I - with Best Song Ever and Story Of My Life becoming worldwide hits. One Direction's third headlining tour, the Where We Are Tour, began on April 25, 2014.
Their fourth album, Four, was released on November 17, 2014. The album further established the band's transition into mainstream rock, and again featured each member contributing to the majority of the album's writing. Tomlinson and Payne both co-wrote nine tracks, Styles co-wrote five songs, while Horan and Malik both co-wrote three. Two singles were released - Steal My Girl and Night Changes - and both found considerable success. The band embarked on their fourth headlining tour, On The Road Again, on February 7, 2015. Zayn Malik exited the band permanently on March 25, 2015, citing exhaustion and a desire to live a more normal life. The band continued the world tour and it eventually concluded as intended on October 31, 2015.
One Direction released their fifth album, Made in the A.M., on November 13, 2015. The album saw the most creative contribution from the band members so far, with Tomlinson contributing ten co-writes, Styles contributing seven, Payne contributing six co-writes, and composing two tracks, and Horan contributing four co-writes. Three singles were released - Drag Me Down, Perfect and History - with Drag Me Down debuting at #1 in 13 countries, and eventually becoming one of the highest selling songs of 2015. Perfect was also successful, reaching #1 in 4 countries, and peaking at #2 in the UK, #4 in Australia and #10 in the US. History peaked at #6 in the United Kingdom and #3 in Scotland.
In the eight years since becoming a band, One Direction have sold over 50 million albums worldwide, and were the first band to ever have four albums debut at #1 on the US Billboard 200. Four of One Direction's albums have sold over a million copies in the USA. In 2016, they were the second highest earning celebrities of the year, earning over $130 million. Their fourth world tour, On The Road Again, acquired over $188 million and saw the most concert tickets sold in 2015. One Direction was named Artist Of The Year by Billboard in 2014, and by the American Music Awards in both 2014 and 2015.
Zayn Malik's Departure
On 25 March 2015, a statement posted on One Direction's official Facebook page confirmed that Zayn Malik had officially and permanently exited the band. His sudden departure made worldwide headlines, as One Direction were in the process of completing their fourth world tour at the time. Malik had previously been signed off from the tour a week before, but had been expected to return after a short trip back to his hometown in London. It was speculated at the time Malik was signed off due to relationship troubles with then-fiancee Perrie Edwards. Malik was photographed holding hands with and embracing another woman days before he was signed off, and angrily addressed claims of infidelity on Twitter. Zayn would later reveal a combination of anxiety, exhaustion and introversion as primary reasons for his exit. He also revealed the band's pop-rock sound was never his preferred taste in music. Zayn released his debut single on January 29, 2016, and his debut album, Mind of Mine, on March 25, 2016. Niall, Harry, Liam and Louis continued One Direction as a four piece. The band's relationship with Zayn was initially strained, with Louis and Zayn clashing on Twitter in April 2015 and Harry making several underhanded comments suggesting continued tension. In 2017, Zayn claimed he and Harry rarely spoke during their time as bandmates. Louis would eventually make up with Zayn in early 2017, partially to fulfill his mother's dying wish for them to repair their friendship. Liam has said he and Zayn keep in contact.
One Direction have been on hiatus since 13 December 2015, when they last performed as a group on The X Factor (UK)'s 2015 grand final episode.
On 23 August 2015, UK tabloid publication The Sun reported One Direction would be taking a break in 2016, but used the tagline "This Is The End", which worldwide media outlets then used to report the band was splitting up. On August 25, Niall confirmed on Twitter that the band would take a break from touring, but said they had no plans to split up. Louis also tweeted saying "we're not going anywhere". The hiatus is the band's first, and only, break from touring and collaborating together since 2010.
All four members defined the hiatus as a "well-deserved" break they will eventually return from as a group. Niall stated, "It seems like no matter how many times we say that we are not breaking up, the more people are convinced we are breaking up, so I have given up trying to explain it. It will be good to be able to get home a bit more, because that really is the only downside of the gig." All four members continue to acknowledge the anniversary of the band's formation on July 23 each year. An end date for the hiatus will not be confirmed until each member is ready to return to the group.
In the September 2016 issue of AnOther Man Magazine, Harry stated "I would never say we'll never do anything again, but it's good for us to be exploring different things. Maybe at some point everyone will want to do something again but it's better if it happens naturally, like, "Hey we all really want to do this again". If that were to happen, it'd be amazing. I would never rule that out. It's the most important, greatest thing that ever happened to me, being in that band. It completely changed my life". On September 29, 2016 Niall told Capital FM a reunion was inevitable, stating "For the foreseeable, we're doing our own thing. We still talk all the time. It could be one year, could be two, but it'll definitely happen there's no doubt about that." He elaborated further in a November interview, stating "We just felt like it was the right time. I can’t really put anything to it. It wasn’t something we delved into and thought ‘is this the right time to do this?’. We just thought ‘let’s take a break’ and we will get back into it in a couple of years or something. I am sure once everyone starts getting bored again, we will be like ‘Hey, are you ready?".
In April 2017, Harry elaborated on One Direction's reason for their hiatus in a Rolling Stone interview, stating: "I didn't want to exhaust our fan base. If you're shortsighted, you can think, 'Let's just keep touring'. But we all thought too much of the group than to let that happen. You realize you're exhausted and you don't want to drain people's belief in you. I love the band, and would never rule out anything in the future. The band changed my life, gave me everything". Interviewer Cameron Crowe stated in a subsequent interview that Harry "defended the future of the band". Harry further elaborated on French TV show Quotidien, stating "It’s been a lot of fun. We were very lucky to get to do some amazing things at the moment in our lives. We’re in a time where everyone’s trying their own thing and having a good time. It’s been amazing to see everyone do so well. If I can do as well as the other boys, that’d be amazing.
Solo Career Developments
Liam: In 2016, Liam signed with Capitol Records. In May 2017, Liam premiered his debut solo single, "Strip That Down", co-written by Ed Sheeran and featuring American rapper, Quavo. It became the highest selling single from a remaining One Direction member and was a worldwide top 10 hit. He spent most of 2017 conducting promotional radio tours of the US and performing at music festivals worldwide. Liam released four more singles; "Bedroom Floor" (co-written by US singer Charlie Puth), "For You" (a duet with UK singer Rita Ora, for the Fifty Shades Darker soundtrack), "Get Low" (a collaboration with German-Russian dance producer Zedd) and "Familiar" (a duet with Colombian singer J Balvin). Of the four, the most successful was "For You", peaking in the top 5 and 10 of many worldwide charts, and scoring both Payne and Ora their first #1 single in Germany. After significant delays, Liam announced in August 2018 that he would be making changes to his debut album and, in the meantime, would release an EP featuring four brand new songs. He released the First Time EP on 24 August 2018. He appeared on Jonas' Blue's single "Polaroid" in 2018 and released a collaborative single with rapper A Boogie Wit A Hoodie titled "Stack It Up" in September 2019.
Harry: In 2016, Harry signed with Columbia Records. On 25 March 2017, a promotional advert aired on UK television, announcing Harry's debut single Sign Of The Times was premiering worldwide on April 7, 2017. The song was critically acclaimed and became a top 5 hit worldwide. During his album promotional campaign, Harry covered Rolling Stone magazine, performed on Saturday Night Live and co-hosted The Late Late Show With James Corden for an entire week. He also staged spontaneous concerts in the UK and US, before conducting a small venue tour in September 2017, which was followed by a larger arena tour from March 2018. His self-titled album debuted at #1 in 20 countries, including the United States, making him only the second UK male artist, after former bandmate Zayn Malik, to debut atop the US album chart. In July 2017, Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk, which featured Harry in his debut acting role, premiered worldwide to critical acclaim. Two more singles - Two Ghosts and Kiwi - were released from Harry's debut album, to mild success. To cap off 2017, Harry co-hosted a variety special with friend Nick Grimshaw on the BBC, and performed live at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show in Shanghai, China. Harry spent most of 2018 touring the world, and began performing two unreleased songs - "Anna" and "Medicine" during each concert. "Medicine" made worldwide headlines when fans and media began speculating the lyrics suggested bisexuality. Harry was chosen as the face of Gucci's 2018-2019 campaign and briefly served as an executive producer for short-lived American sitcom Happy Together, loosely based on his time living with Ben Winston. In May 2019, Harry served as a co-host for the Met Gala, alongside Lady Gaga, Alessandro Michele, Serena Williams and Anna Wintour.
Louis: In July 2016, Louis appeared alongside Simon Cowell on America's Got Talent, as a special guest judge. On 10 December 2016, Louis released a solo single, Just Hold On, in collaboration with DJ Steve Aoki. The duo premiered it live on the same day, during the 2016 X Factor (UK) grand final. The song went to #1 on iTunes in 36 countries upon release and acquired over 200 million Spotify streams. The pair embarked on a small US promotional tour together in January 2017, and Louis made his music festival debut, alongside Aoki, in March. In July 2017, Louis released his debut solo single Back To You, featuring Bebe Rexha. It was a top 20 hit worldwide and reached #1 on iTunes in 50 countries. In November 2017, Louis performed live at the Royal Variety Performance, where he met Prince William and Kate Middleton. Louis released two more singles - Just Like You and Miss You. In 2018, Louis was a celebrity judge on the fifteenth season of The X Factor (UK), alongside Simon Cowell, singer Robbie Williams and Adya Field. He chose Liam Payne as his celebrity guest judge for the Judges Houses portion of the competition. In March 2019, Louis released another single from his forthcoming album titled "Two of Us". The song served as a dedication to his mother, Johannah, who passed away in 2016. Six days after the song's release, Tomlinson's 18 year old sister Felicite passed away from a drug overdose. In September 2019, Louis released the single "Kill My Mind" and performed for thousands at the Coca Cola Music Experience Festival in Madrid.
Niall: In 2016, Niall began the Horan and Rose annual charity golfing event, in collaboration with golfer Justin Rose, which would go on to raise over £1.5 million pounds for cancer research in three years. He also helped launch Modest!Golf, a golf management company, alongside One Direction's former management team, Modest Management. Niall simultaneously released his debut single "This Town" and announced a solo record deal with Capitol Records on September 29, 2016. The song went to #1 on iTunes in 50 countries and became a platinum-selling top 10 hit worldwide. He won the 2017 American Music Award for Best New Artist. In May 2017, Niall released his second single, "Slow Hands", which became a top 5 hit worldwide, and reached #1 on US pop radio. His first solo tour, "Flicker Sessions 2017", began in August 2017, and was followed by an arena tour from March 2018. Niall released two more singles - "Too Much To Ask" and "On The Loose" - to mild success. In late 2017, he signed with modelling agency Wilhelmina Models. His debut album, Flicker, was released on October 20, 2017 and debuted at #1 in five countries, including the United States, making him the third consecutive member of One Direction to debut atop the US charts as a solo artist.
Zayn: After exiting the band in March 2015, Zayn began working on his debut solo studio album. He signed with RCA Records in July 2015. His debut single, Pillowtalk, was released in January 2016 and the music video featured his real life on-off girlfriend, American supermodel Gigi Hadid. The song was a worldwide hit, debuting at number one in the UK and US, making Malik the first British artist to debut at number one in the US with a debut single. Zayn's debut album, Mind of Mine, was released on 25 March 2016, a year to the day he left One Direction. The album debuted at #1 in the USA, making Zayn the first British male artist to debut at number one in both the UK and US with his debut album. Two more singles were released - Like I Would and Wrong - to mild success. Zayn has featured on several collaborative singles including "Who" from the 2016 Ghostbusters soundtrack, "Cruel" from electronic dance duo Snakehips, a remix of Chris Brown's single "Back To Sleep" and an M.I.A song titled "Freedun". In November 2016, he released his first autobiography titled "Z". In December 2016, he surprise released "I Don't Wanna Live Forever", a duet with American singer Taylor Swift for the Fifty Shades Darker soundtrack. It became one of the highest selling songs of the year and was eventually nominated for a Grammy Award. In 2017, Zayn released "Still Got Time" with Canadian rapper PartyNextDoor, to moderate success. It was originally announced Zayn's second album would be released mid 2017, however this did not eventuate. Throughout 2017, Zayn made several successful fashion ventures, including a collaboration with Donatella Versace, a shoe collection with Giuseppe and several Vogue magazine covers. In September 2017, Zayn released "Dusk Till Dawn" a duet with Australian singer Sia for the The Mountain Between Us soundtrack. The song was a top 10 hit worldwide. Zayn began releasing numerous singles with minimal promotion, often just a music video, and uploading many song covers to his official Instagram page. From April 2018 onward, Zayn released the singles "Let Me", "Entertainer", "Sour Diesel" and "Too Much", a collaboration with American producer, Timbaland. Of these singles, only "Let Me" found moderate UK success. In December 2018, Zayn's second album "Icarus Falls" was released, but not widely promoted. Zayn alluded to problems with his record label. In May 2019, Zayn appeared on the soundtrack for the live action remake of Aladdin, singing "A Whole New World" with Zhavia Ward. Zayn has not performed live since 2016, after withdrawing from a UK music festival that year citing "the worst anxiety of my career".
Group: In 2016, One Direction won Best Live Act at the Silver Cleft Awards, Best International Artist at the 2016 ARIA Awards, were Forbes second place Top Earners 2016 and second highest paid musicians of the year, with over $110 million to their name, and were confirmed to be holding six 2016 Guinness World Records. On 24 October 2016, a song titled "Something That Scares Me About Love", co-written by Liam and Louis, was registered to ASCAP. All four members of One Direction were reunited on 10 December 2016, backstage at the 2016 X Factor (UK) grand finale, where Louis Tomlinson performed his debut solo release "Just Hold On", a collaboration with DJ Steve Aoki. The reunion was a show of solidarity as Louis's mother, Johannah Deakin, had passed away after a battle with cancer just three days earlier. Zayn sent a message of support to Louis via Twitter. In 2017, One Direction's "History" music video won Best British Video at the 2017 BRIT Awards. When Liam's debut single debuted at #3 on the UK charts, One Direction became the second group in UK chart history from which all members made the top 10, after The Beatles. In August 2017, One Direction became the first band to have all current and former members achieve a US Top 40 solo hit. They achieved this in 18 months. Previous record holders - The Beatles - achieved the same in 21. One Direction are now tied with The Eagles for most members achieving a solo Top 40 hit. When Liam's single reached #1 on US pop radio, One Direction became the only group to have three members achieve this, and the only group to have two members of the same group hold both the #1 and #2 spots, as Liam's single had dethroned Niall's single from number one. In 2018, Harry placed third on the Sunday Times Rich List 2018 (in the Under 30s category), followed by Niall at #4, and Liam and Louis tying for fifth. Louis and Liam reunited for the Judges Houses portion of Louis's run as judge on The X Factor (UK) in October 2018, and again in September 2019, when both were headliners for the Coca Cola Music Experience festival in Madrid.
Up All Night (2011-12)
One Direction released their debut album, Up All Night on November 18, 2011. The singles released were "What Makes You Beautiful", "One Thing", "Gotta Be You", and "More Than This". Up All Night sold more than 4.5 million copies worldwide and What Makes You Beautiful became one of the best selling songs of all time.
Take Me Home (2012-13)
In November 2012, One Direction released their second album Take Me Home, which includes the singles "Live While We're Young", "Little Things" and "Kiss You". The album reached number one in 35 countries.
Midnight Memories (2013)
In November 2013, One Direction released their third album Midnight Memories, which includes the singles "Best Song Ever", "Story of My Life", "Midnight Memories" and "You & I". Midnight Memories was the best selling album of 2013, selling four million copies.
One Direction's fourth studio album, Four, was released on November 17, 2014. The album was announced on September 8 along with a free download of promotional single, "Fireproof". The song acquired over a million downloads in 24 hours. The album only featured two singles, "Steal My Girl" and "Night Changes". The album sold over a million copies in the United States, and became their fourth to reach #1 on the US Billboard 200. Fans organised a significantly successful online project to promote album track "No Control" as if it were a single, which saw the song added to radio station playlists, featured in interactive video game Just Dance and eventually won a Teen Choice Award. Four was Zayn Malik's final album as a member of One Direction.
Made In The A.M. (2015)
One Direction's fifth studio album, Made in the A.M., was released on November 13, 2015. It was their first album without Zayn Malik. "Drag Me Down" was the first single from the album, released on July 31, 2015. It sold more than 300,000 digital copies on the first day of release and was #1 in 90 countries on iTunes. Two more singles, "Perfect" and "History" were released, and reached the top 10 worldwide. In January 2016, the album went platinum in the United Kingdom. As was the case with "No Control" on the band's previous album, fans organized a successful online campaign to promote "Home", a song which did not appear on Made In The A.M., but was released on the Perfect EP, a short collection of remixes and acoustics. The campaign saw "Home" added to radio playlists and winning a Teen Choice Award. In April 2016, Made In The A.M. went platinum in the United States.
- Up All Night (2011)
- Take Me Home (2012)
- Midnight Memories (2013)
- Four (2014)
- Made in the A.M. (2015)
- Perfect EP (2015)
FilmsThis Is Us was the first theatrical concert film about One Direction, detailing life on the road during their 2012 Take Me Home Tour. Filming began in January 2013. All footage was shot in 3D. This Is Us premiered worldwide on August 20, 2013. This Is Us is currently the fourth highest grossing concert movie, grossing over six times the film's budget. The band's music video for "Best Song Ever" featured preview clips from the film, and the plot of the video centered around a Hollywood production company pitching ideas to the band for a music video, when they stop by the office while filming their movie. The band has made suggestive comments in subsequent interviews about the documentary being heavily scripted.
"One Direction: Where We Are - The Concert Film" was the second theatrical concert film of One Direction, showcasing one concert at San Siro Stadium in Milan, Italy, during the band's 2014 Where We Are world tour. The film was exclusively released to cinema for two days from October 11, 2014. While mostly centered around the concert, the DVD featured behind the scenes footage of the band rehearsing songs, while discussing their success so far and recording their fourth album.The footage also showed the band visiting Christ The Redeemer in Rio De Janeiro on a day off. The film broke the record for the highest grossing event cinema production with a net total of $15 million.
- The X Factor: Series 7 (finalists)
- Up All Night: The Live Tour
- One Direction: This Is Us
- One Direction: Where We Are - The Concert Film
- Other appearances as themselves can be found here
- Up All Night Tour (2011-2012)
- Take Me Home Tour (2013)
- Where We Are Tour (2014)
- On the Road Again Tour (2015)
Awards and Nominations
- Main article: One Direction/Awards and nominations
Since 2011, One Direction has won a total of 199 awards and has been nominated for 289. Some of the more significant awards include two consecutive American Music Awards for Artist Of The Year, won in 2014 and 2015. The band also won four BRIT Awards and four World Music Awards.
- One Direction: Forever Young, HarperCollins (February 17, 2011)
- One Direction: The Official Annual 2012, HarperCollins (September 1, 2011)
- Dare to Dream: Life as One Direction, HarperCollins (September 15, 2011)
- One Direction: The Official Annual 2013, HarperCollins (August 30, 2012)
- One Direction: Where We Are: Our Band, Our Story, HarperCollins (August 27, 2013)
- One Direction: The Official Annual 2014, HarperCollins (August 29, 2013)
- Who We Are: Our Autobiography, HarperCollins (September 25, 2014)
- One Direction: The Official Annual 2015, HarperCollins (October 21, 2014)
- One Direction: The Official Annual 2016 HarperCollins (October 2, 2015)
- ↑ 'We had to overcome our egos'. Digital Spy. October 6, 2010.
- ↑ Zayn Exit Statement
- ↑ Four directions: 1D lads to go separate ways in March
- ↑ Niall's tweet
- ↑ Louis's tweet
- ↑ Louis and Liam talk the break
- ↑ Niall's statement
- ↑ Liam: "The break will be shorter than people think"
- ↑ Niall Capital FM Interview Sept 2016
- ↑ [http://www.unrealitytv.co.uk/showbiz/one-directions-niall-horan-just-revealed-louis-tomlinson-harry-styles-reunion-date/
One Direction’s Niall Horan JUST revealed Louis Tomlinson, Harry Styles reunion date!]
- ↑ Harry Styles New Direction
- ↑ Quotidien Interview April 26 2017
- ↑ World Records
- ↑ All five members produced top 40 hits in 2017
- ↑ Rich List 2018