One Direction

United Kingdom


Pop, Rock

Years active

2010 - present (on hiatus)


Syco Music, Columbia Records, Capitol Records



First photo of One Direction as a group.

One Direction is a British-Irish pop boyband consisting of Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, and Niall Horan. Former member Zayn left thee band in March 2015. They were contestants on the seventh season of The X Factor UK in 2010, and finished third. Despite losing, the group was subsequently signed to Simon Cowell's record label, Syco Music. After releasing five best-selling albums between 2011 and 2015, the band announced an indefinite hiatus, beginning December 2015. By May 2017, all members had released solo material.


The X Factor (2010-11) In early 2010, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson and Zayn Malik auditioned as solo performers for the seventh season of The X Factor (UK). For Liam Payne, it was his second audition process. Payne first auditioned in 2008, but was eliminated during the judge's houses portion, due to inexperience. For Louis Tomlinson, it was also his second audition process, though 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 dad's bungalow in Cheshire.[1] One Direction were the favorite act to win throughout the 2010 season of X Factor, generating massive and unprecedented fan/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.

Musical Career

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 seven 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[2]. 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-fiance 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, 2015. Niall, Harry, Liam and Louis continued One Direction as a four piece. The band's relationship with Zayn was initially strained. Louis and Zayn clashed on Twitter in April 2015, and Harry has made 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.

Band Hiatus

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[3]. 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[4]. Louis also tweeted saying "we're not going anywhere"[5]. 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[6] 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.[7]" All four members acknowledged their sixth and seventh year annniversaries as a band on social media in 2016 and 2017. An end date for the hiatus will not be confirmed until each member is ready to return to the group[8].

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[9]." 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?[10]".

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[11]". 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[12].

As both Niall and Harry will be on solo world tours throughout 2018, and Louis has confirmed his own touring plans for 2018, it is unlikely the band will be reuniting before 2019.

Solo Career Developments

Liam: In January 2016, Liam began re-working on several collaborations with rapper Juicy J, and previewed a self-written rap song on Instagram. Liam and Louis provided their voices for a One Direction cameo on animated TV series "Family Guy", which aired May 15, 2016. On July 21, Liam announced he had signed a solo record deal with Capitol Records UK. He tweeted "One Direction will always be my home and family"[13]. Liam is currently working on his debut solo album, and has collaborated with various artists, including Pharrell Williams, TM88, Intensi-t and Jean Malvo Baptiste. On October 17, Liam announced his US record label would be Republic Records. In February 2017, he accepted One Direction's Brit Award for Best British Video for History, stating "One Direction is who we are and who we'll always be". In March 2017, Liam revealed his second solo magazine cover, for Rollacoaster Magazine. In May 2017, Liam premiered his debut solo single, Strip That Down, featuring Migos rapper, Quavo. It became a top 10 hit worldwide. On July 5, producer Zedd released "Get Low", a dance-pop single featuring Liam on vocals. Liam released his second single, "Bedroom Floor", on October 20, 2017. He released a collaboration single with UK singer Rita Ora, titled "For You", on January 5 2018, for the Fifty Shades Freed soundtrack.

Harry: On January 26, 2016, Harry signed with DawBell PR. He officially parted ways with Modest Management on February 1, 2016. He is now managed by music mogul Irving Azoff's son, Jeff. Reports of an $80 million dollar Columbia Records deal for Harry surfaced in June 2016, and, while the price tag went unconfirmed, Harry eventually released his debut album via Columbia. On September 27, 2016 Harry revealed three separate covers for the 23rd issue of AnOther Man Magazine. On March 25, 2017 a promotional advert aired on UK television, announcing Harry's debut single would premiere April 7, 2017. On 7 April 2017, Harry premiered Sign Of The Times on BBC Radio 1. It was a top 5 hit worldwide. In May 2017, Harry covered Rolling Stone magazine for the first time. In mid May 2017, he co-hosted The Late Late Show With James Corden for an entire week. Harry staged spontaneous concerts in the UK and US throughout May, and began a small venue tour in September 2017, which was followed by an 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. On July 21, Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk, which featured Harry in his debut acting role, premiered worldwide to critical acclaim. On 31 October, Kiwi was released as the second official single from Harry Styles. The music video premiered on 8 November and featured schoolchildren engaging in a food fight with Harry, who brings puppies along to help. On 2 November 2017, Nick Grimshaw hosted a variety special about Harry on BBC. Also in November 2017, Harry performed live on The X Factor UK and the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. During his arena world tour, Harry performed two previously unreleased songs live: "Anna" and "Medicine". "Medicine" received worldwide media attention after lyrics in the song were found to be strongly implying bisexuality.

Louis: In May 2016, Louis and Liam's voices were featured in a One Direction cameo skit for US comedy series Family Guy. On May 31, Louis parted ways with Modest Management, and is now represented by James Grant Group. On June 5, Louis competed against Niall in the Soccer Aid All Stars charity match, playing for England, who won. On 20 July, Louis appeared alongside Simon Cowell on America's Got Talent, as a special guest judge. Louis released a solo single, Just Hold On, in collaboration with DJ Steve Aoki, on December 10, 2016. The duo performed it live the same day, on 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. It would eventually go platinum in Canada. A music video was released on March 8, 2017. Louis and Steve performed together at the Ultra Festival on 25 March 2017, Louis's first ever solo festival performance. On July 21, 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. On October 11, Louis surprise released a promo single, Just Like You, as a gift for fans. In November, Louis won his first solo award for Best UK/Ireland Act at the 2017 MTV EMAs, and performed live at the Royal Variety Performance, where he met Prince William and Kate Middleton. On 1 December 2017, Louis released the second official single from his forthcoming album, Miss You. The music video premiered on December 8 and featured Louis's real life friends. In March 2018, Louis won his second solo award, iHeartRadio's Best Breakthrough Solo Artist award.

Niall: Niall began the Horan and Rose annual charity golfing event, in collaboration with golfer Justin Rose, on May 29, 2016, where over $1 million USD was raised for cancer research. 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 People's Choice Award for Favourite Breakout Artist, the 2017 Radio Disney Music Award for Best Male Artist and the 2017 American Music Award for Best New Artist. On 2 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 a third single "Too Much To Ask" on September 15, 2017. 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. Flicker's fourth single "On The Loose" was released on 20 February 2018.

Group: On 1 July 2016, One Direction won Best Live Act at the Silver Cleft Awards. The band's statement read "Thank you to all our fans for voting. Our live show is so important and it is amazing for this to be recognized for the second time."[14] They were announced as Forbes second Top Earners of 2016 with $110 million to their name[15]. On September 4, it was announced One Direction currently held six 2016 Guinness World Records[16]. On 24 October 2016, a song titled 'Something That Scares Me About Love', co-written by Liam and Louis, was registered to ASCAP. On November 23, One Direction won Best International Artist at the 2016 ARIA Awards. On November 30, Forbes Magazine announced One Direction were the #2 highest paid musicians of the year, despite being on hiatus[17]. All four members of One Direction were reunited on 10 December 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, in tribute to Louis's mother, Johannah Deakin, who passed away after a battle with cancer three days earlier. Zayn sent a message of support to Louis via Twitter. On December 29, One Direction were named the top earning celebrities in Europe for 2016, earning $110 million. This also made them the top earning band of the year and second highest amongst all celebrities[18]. In February 2017, One Direction's History music video won Best British Video at the 2017 BRIT Awards. When Liam's debut single entered 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 Top 40 solo hit[19]. They achieved this in 18 months, while 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 (5). 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 dethroned Niall's single from number one. On 11 May 2018, The Sunday Times Rich List 2018 revealed Harry was the third wealthiest UK musician under 30, followed by Niall at #4, while Liam and Louis tied for fifth[20].


Up All Night (2011-12)

Up All Night

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)

Take Me Home

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)

Midnight Memories

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.

Four (2014)


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.



This 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

Band Members

Former Members

Backing Band


Concert tours


Opening Act

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.



See Also

One Direction at the Boybands Wiki