One Direction (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

One Direction is a boy band formed in 2010 in London. The pop group shot to superstardom after appearing on the U.K. TV show The X Factor and signing with host Simon Cowell’s record label. Members Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson, and Zayn Malik also became teen heartthrobs with tens of millions of followers worldwide.

The group released five studio albums — Up All Night (2011), Take Me Home (2012), Midnight Memories (2013), Four (2014), and Made in the A.M. (2015) — the first four debuting at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200. Popular One Direction songs include “What Makes You Beautiful,” “Night Changes,” “Story of My Life,” and “Drag Me Down.” In addition, 1D won numerous honors, including Billboard Music Awards and MTV VMAs.

But in March 2015, Malik left the group to pursue a solo career. And 10 months later, the band went on indefinite hiatus. The remaining One Direction members subsequently sought solo music careers. Styles also branched out into film acting.


  • Year founded: 2010
  • Hometown: London, England
  • Members: Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson, Zayn Malik (former member)
  • Genre: Pop, pop-rock, dance-pop, teen pop
  • Top tracks/albums: “What Makes You Beautiful,” “Night Changes,” “Story of My Life,” “Drag Me Down,” Up All NightTake Me HomeMidnight MemoriesFourMade in the A.M.
  • Fun fact: Four of the bandmates have matching cross tattoos, except Horan, who remains ink-free
  • Similar bands: 5 Seconds of Summer, Justin Bieber, Big Time Rush, Jonas Brothers, Little Mix, OneRepublic, The Wanted

Visit the One Direction website.

Read more about One Direction’s music and the bandmates’ personal lives. Plus, stay up to date on their latest projects:

Read About: Harry Styles
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