One Direction. biography

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One Direction is an English-Irish boy pop band, made up of Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson. Each member first met while auditioning as solo artists for the British TV competition series The X Factor in which they all failed to secure a spot in the "Boys" category.

After guest judge Nicole Scherzinger suggested that the boys be put together to form a boy band, they earned a spot in the "Group" category under the mentorship of Simon Cowell. Soon after, Styles pitched the name One Direction, arguing that it would sound awesome when The X Factor announcer said it during the live shows.

Although they finished in third place, One Direction had gained a large following in the UK on behalf of the show and quickly acquired a record deal with Simon Cowell's record label Syco. Their first single "What Makes You Beautiful" was released in September 2011 and debuted at #1 on the UK Singles Chart, followed by "Gotta Be You" and "One Thing" both of which reached UK Singles Chart's top ten. In November of that same year, One Direction signed with Columbia Records in the U.S.

One Direction's next single "What Makes You Beautiful" was released in February 2012, reaching the #28 position on the Billboard Hot 100 and becoming the highest British act debut since 1998, while selling over 3 million copies in the U.S. alone.

The band made their debut television appearance on The Today Show in March, in front of more than 15,000 fans before releasing their first album Up All Night. The album obtained top positions on the charts of sixteen countries and reached No. 1 on the US Billboard 200 chart, crowning One Direction the first British band in the United States' chart history to grab a number one spot with a debut album. It was also the first album by a boy group to sell over 500,000 digital copies in the U.S. and 3 million worldwide.

One Direction ran into some legal problems in April 2012, when an American boy band with the same name filed a trademark infringement lawsuit, claiming that the US group had been using the name since 2009 and had filed a trademark application in 2011. The lawsuit also claimed that Sony Music and Syco knew the two bands shared the same name in early 2011, and "chose to ignore the plaintiff's rights and willfully infringed them." BBC later reported that the UK boy band won the lawsuit and kept their name while the other group's name changed to Uncharted Shores.

In November 2012, One Direction released their second studio album Take Me Home with the lead single "Live While We're Young," which broke into the top ten on several countries' charts and was named the highest one-week opening sales for a single by a non-American group.

Most recently, One Direction is set to perform at New York City's Madison Square Garden on December 3, 2012, and is planning on launching their second tour, the 2013 World Tour, consisting of well over 100 performances in Australia, Europe and North America.

Meet One Direction

Niall James Horan was born on September 13, 1993, in Republic of Ireland to Maura Gallagher and Bobby Horan. After his parents divorced when he was 5, Niall's parents shared custody over him and his brother Greg before the two eventually settled with their father in Mullingar, Ireland. He later attended Coláiste Mhuire, a primary teacher training college, where he performed in the school choir and honed his guitar skills on a regular basis.

Zain Javadd "Zayn" Malik was born on January 12, 1993, in St Luke's Hospital of Bradford, England and raised alongside his sisters, Doniya, Waliya and Safaa, by his English mother Tricia Brannan Malik and British Pakistani father Yaser Malik. While attending Lower Fields Primary School and Tong High School, Zayn felt like he didn't fit in due to his mixed heritage and ultimately transferred to another school where he learned to embrace his outer appearance.

Zayn has stated that urban music is his sole musical influence and grew up idolizing the soothing sounds of Bruno Mars.

Liam James Payne was born on August 29, 1993, in Wolverhampton, England to Karen and Geoff Payne. He grew up alongside his two older sisters, Ruth and Nicole, and made frequent trips to the hospital due to a dysfunctional kidney, which he dealt with by injecting himself 32 times in the morning and evening. Liam's health was restored by the age of 12, but was soon confronted with another problem concerning bullies at his middle school. Instead of coping with the added pain, Liam resorted to boxing lessons.

He made his first legit performance in front of a 26,000 crowd while attending City of Wolverhampton College and later decided to audition for The X Factor's 2008 fifth season at the age of 14. His charismatic looks and sensible voice landed him in judge Simon Cowell's home, but Simon ultimately decided that he wasn't ready and suggested he return in two years.

His biggest musical influences are Justin Timberlake and Take That member Gary Barlow.

Harry Edward Styles was born on February 1, 1994, in Cheshire, England to Anne Cox and Des Styles and has an older sister, named Gemma. Harry began discovering his love for singing at a very young age with the help of Elvis Presley and The Beatles, which his father would always play around the house. His passion for music continued to intensify each passing year and eventually led him to The X Factor's doorstep.

Before auditioning for The X Factor, Harry studied at Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School, worked part-time at the W. Mandeville Bakery in Holmes Chapel and made his competition debut as the lead vocals for the band White Eskimo when they entered into a Battle of the Bands competition and won.

Louis William Tomlinson was born on December 24, 1991, in Doncaster, England to Johannah and Troy Austin. Louis made his on-screen debut as an extra on the TV series Fat Friends alongside two of his half-sisters who had reoccurring roles as babies. He then enrolled in acting school and landed his first small roles in the TV film If I Had You (2006) and BBC's TV drama series Waterloo Road (2006).

While attending Hall Cross School, Louis performed in many musical productions and landed his first lead role as Danny Zuko in Grease, following a grueling audition process. He later claimed that the struggle he endured to land the part motivated him to audition for The X Factor.

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