One Direction Ages: How Old Were the Band Members When They Auditioned for ‘The X Factor’?

After Harry Styles’ Grammy Award win on March 14, fans might be looking back to his time on The X Factor with One Direction. The band members started out on the show in 2010, auditioning initially as individual performers. But Simon Cowell saw that there could be something greater for them together, and thus, One Direction was born. What were the band members from One Direction ages when they auditioned for the show?

One Direction is linked to the Grammys in 1 way that doesn't include Harry Styles
Liam Payne, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson, and Harry Styles from the band One Direction | Mark Davis/Getty Images

How was One Direction formed as a band on ‘The X Factor’?

Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Niall Horan, Liam Payne, and Zayn Malik all auditioned separately on The X Factor in 2010. While they progressed as individuals, Cowell placed them into the “Groups” category by making them a band, One Direction.

They sang “Torn” by Natalie Imbruglia at the Judges Houses Performances, for the first time ever as a band. One Direction impressed the judges then moved on to the live shows. They covered songs such as “Viva La Vida” by Coldplay and “My Life Would Suck Without You” by Kelly Clarkson.

The band ended up finishing in third place, but went on to achieve incredible global success. And all the more impressive? How young all of them were when they joined One Direction.

One Direction ages: How old were the boys on ‘The X Factor’?

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Auditions for The X Factor Season 7 took place from June to July 2010. At the time, every single One Direction member was in their teen years.

Tomlinson, the oldest, was 18 when he auditioned. He turned 19 a couple of weeks after the last episode — his birthday is Dec. 24, 1991.

Styles, the youngest, was 16 during the show. His birthday is Feb. 1, 1994. Horan was 16 when he auditioned, but he turned 17 years old on Sep. 13. Payne, who had auditioned for The X Factor before, was 16 years old and also turned 17 during One Direction’s time on the show. His birthday is August 29.

Malik, the second oldest in the band, was 17 throughout his audition and One Direction’s run on The X Factor. He left the band to pursue his own solo career in March 2015.

Why did One Direction break up?

One Direction took a hiatus in 2015 after five years of nonstop work together. The band went straight from The X Factor into making music and created album after album from 2011 to 2015. While they were successful, it clearly took a toll on the boys who often appeared tired and worn out. Their last album was 2015’s Made in the A.M., which was the only album of theirs they did not tour as a group.

Since each member has gone on to pursue their own careers, they’ve all been able to seemingly go at a different pace in terms of releasing music. Malik has made three albums since leaving One Direction. Styles and Horan have released two studio albums since taking a leave from One Direction. The other bandmates, Payne and Tomlinson, have put out one studio album each. Payne and Tomlinson wrote the most songs out of the One Direction band members.

We can’t wait to continue supporting “the boys” (who are definitely now grown men) as their careers continue to skyrocket.