“We were gutted when we didn't win [X Factor]. But then we just started to reflect on it and we thought, we were the last group there, the youngest in the competition, and we didn't even know each other months ago. And when you look at it like that, we did really well. Some people say X Factor is an easy ride and a queue jump to fame. But we came from nothing, and had no experience as a group at all. And for me, by the time we came to the end of the show, we were a completely different group. We worked so hard, and achieved so much.”
One Direction is a UK band originally made up of five guys — Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson. They all auditioned for The X Factor UK as solo artists in 2010 and did not make the cut. The guys were brought back to form a group by mentor Simon Cowell and took third place in the competition. One Direction was introduced to the US on a Spring 2012 tour with Nickelodeon act Big Time Rush and quickly sold out dates for their first headlining tour through 2013. They also sold out a show at Madison Sqaure Garden in minutes. One Direction has dominated American TV with appearances on Today and Saturday Night Live. It is estimated their empire is worth about $1 billion. In March 2015, Zayn left the group to pursue a solo career in music.
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One Direction made history in March 2012 when their debut album, Up All Night, hit #1 on the U.S. Billboard charts, a first for a British group. Their most popular songs are “What Makes You Beautiful” and “One Thing.”