One Direction, often shortened to 1D, are an English-Irish pop boy band formed in London, England in 2010. The band is composed of Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson; former member Zayn Malik departed from the group in 2015. The group signed with Simon Cowell’s record label Syco Records after forming and finishing third in the seventh series of the British televised singing competition The X Factor in 2010. Propelled to global success by social media, One Direction’s five albums, Up All Night (2011), Take Me Home (2012), Midnight Memories (2013), Four (2014), and Made in the A.M. (2015), topped charts in most major markets, and generated hit singles including “What Makes You Beautiful”, “Live While We’re Young”, “Best Song Ever”, “Story of My Life” and “Drag Me Down”.
The group has won nearly 200 awards including seven Brit Awards, four MTV Video Music Awards, six Billboard Music Awards, seven American Music Awards (including Artist of the Year in 2014 and 2015), and 28 Teen Choice Awards. They have embarked on four world tours, two of which were all-stadium. In 2013, they earned an estimated $75 million, becoming the second highest earning celebrity under 30 according to Forbes. The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) honoured them as the Global Recording Artist of 2013. Forbes ranked them as the fourth highest-earning celebrities in the world in 2015, and second in 2016.
After the release of Four, One Direction became the first band in the U.S. Billboard 200 history to have their first four albums debut at number one. Their third album, Midnight Memories, was the best-selling album worldwide in 2013 with 4 million copies sold globally. The band’s Where We Are Tour, in support of Midnight Memories, was the highest-grossing concert tour in 2014, the highest-grossing tour by a vocal group in history, and the 15th highest-grossing concert tour of all time, grossing $290.2 million (unadjusted for inflation). In 2014, Billboard named One Direction Artist of the Year. The band went on hiatus in January 2016, allowing all members to pursue other projects. As of 2020, the band has sold a total of 50 million records worldwide.