THIS IS US: One Direction’s Story

Jay’s Lair

June 30, 2020

Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, Zayn Malik. These names have been ringing bells in the minds and hearts of millions of music lovers around the world from 2010 to date. They all have been incredible artists, releasing beautiful songs and albums, but everyone would forever remember them in their major glory days as the boy-band that shook the industry to its core: One Direction.

The group had it all: from cute guys to fire tracks to record-breaking albums, multi-million endorsement deals, and a fanbase that could make up a small country. The One Direction boys were set for life ever since their appearance on the 2010 edition of the X-Factor. Although they didn’t emerge as overall winners, they sure become winners in life after the show.

In just a span of 5 years (2011-2016), the group cemented themselves as one of the greatest bands of all time. Trophy shelves ran out of space, thanks to over 200 awards to their names, records were broken, tickets to shows and tours were sold-out almost as quickly as they were announced, the “One-Direction” effect was so real.

THE GENESIS: X-Factor.
Taken from Google Images: One Direction on the X-Factor

Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, and Zayn Malik were all solo contestants for the seventh series of the British edition of the singing competition X-Factor way back in 2010. As nature would have it, all five lads failed to make it to the “Boys” category. One could only imagine how much despair each one of them must have felt. But as they say, every disappointment is a blessing in disguise, that was the case of the boys as they were put together for the “Group” category by Simon Cowell who stated that it took him 10 minutes to make the decision. It took two weeks for the group to be in sync and for Harry Styles to come up with the name that would stay forever in the hearts of their fans “One Direction”.

Their popularity in the show spread like a wildfire and by the time they were in the finals, they had a solid fanbase. Unfortunately, they didn’t emerge as overall winners, they came in third place. Almost immediately, their cover of Jay-Z’s Forever Young was leaked on the internet which was meant to be released if they won. Simon Cowell’s Syco Records were quick to get the future stars under a €2 million (about $2.2 million USD) record contract.

UP ALL NIGHT: 2011/12

Named the fastest-selling album in the year 2011, Up All Night was released in November 2011, following a new record deal with Columbia Records. “Up All Night” contained hit songs such as “What Makes You Beautiful” (which was their debut single), “Gotta Be You, “One Thing”. The album was a major success in Ireland, the U.K, and the U.S.A reaching the top of the charts in all three countries and even more.

One Direction had their first headlining tour December of the same year 2011, “Up All Night Tour”. The group was big winners at the 2012 MTV Music Video Awards as they won all three categories they were nominated in, including “Best New Artist”.

In the year 2012, A lawsuit emerged, One Direction was sued by an American band going by the same name and claimed they had come up with the name in 2009. At the end of it all, the American band changed their names to Uncharted Shores and both parties settled amicably.

TAKE ME HOME: 2012/13

A year after the release of their debut album, One Direction released yet another fire album in November 2012. With hit singles such as “Live While We Are Young” (Lead Single), “Little Things”, “Truly, Madly, Deeply”, “They Don’t Know About Us”, One Direction’s second album was an immense success and it reached the Top Ten charts in almost every country. It took a group of different songwriters to help out with the songs in order to finish up on time. Loads of praises and criticism was received towards the album for its quality and many other aspects.

It was one event after the other for the group as they went on another tour “Take Me Home Tour” after the album release and they found themselves in different continents for different shows.

Midnight Memories: 2013/14

The release of record-breaking and beautiful albums yearly was becoming a known attribute of the group. They were at it again, serving their fans beautiful songs to their heart’s content. “Best Song Ever” was the lead single for their third album “Midnight Memories” along with “Story Of My Life”, “You and I”, “Midnight Memories” and more. “Best Song Ever” still remains their highest charting single in the US to date, reaching the number two spot.

That same year, a documentary and concert film about the group titled “This Is Us”, was produced, showing the journey so far for the lads and trust it to be another one of the group’s numerous success as it grossed $60 million worldwide and became the fourth highest-grossing concert movie.

FOUR: 2014/15

In addition to their first concert movie, “This Is Us”, One Direction announced yet another concert movie titled “Where We Are” and also their first autobiography books titled “Who We Are”. Everything One Direction touched just seemed to turn into solid gold as their earnings and popularity grew steadily across the world. Shows and endorsements were sure to roll in daily like the sun was sure to rise.

One Direction released their fourth studio album titled “Four” in November 2014. Headlined by the single “Steal My Girl, the fourth album achieved platinum status thanks to its one million sales in a short period. Other hit singles included “Night Changes” “Fire Proof” and “Ready To Run”.

End Of The One Direction Era: 2015-2018

It was heartbreaking when fans found out about Zayn Malik’s decision to leave the band, rumors arose from every corner of the Earth, stating different possible and impossible reasons for his departure. Some laying claim that he wanted something different, some others with the opinion that he was secretly involved in some kind of relationship with fellow bandmate Harry Styles and lots of other reasons which surfaced on the internet.

Zayn Malik left the band and the same year. The remaining members of the band: Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Liam Payne, and Louis Tomlinson, released a fifth album titled “Made In The A.M”. Little did everyone know that things were about to become worse as the group announced they would be going on Hiatus in 2016 and since then, fans have still been patiently waiting for a dream reunion.

Despite their ongoing hiatus, there’s no love lost between the last four members of the former band.

Whether as a four-piece or five-piece, the fans of One Direction would still love to see them perform together once again.

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