The One Direction Story
All five members of One Direction applied as solo artists for the The X Factor, but were not successful in qualifying for the “Boys” category. The boys were then controversially put together into a band, and entered in the “Groups” category.
Despite their stuttering start, One Direction (as they had then become named), became Simon Cowell’s last remaining act in the competition. They eventually got to the final, but finished third behind Rebecca Ferguson and winner Matt Cardle.
Following The X Factor, the potential of the group was recognized and they were signed to Simon Cowell’s Syco Music for a reputed £2million.
Following on from the show, early in 2011, One Direction appeared with nine other contestants from the series in the X Factor Live Tour to rave reviews.
It was in April 2011 that the boys debut single was confirmed to be “What Makes You Beautiful” to be released in June. However, in order to coincide with the launch of the start of a new series of X Factor in the UK, the release of the single was pushed back to the late summer.
“What Makes You Beautiful” received its first airplay on 10 August and was finally released on 11 September 2011. The single proved to be a huge success with it breaking the Sony Music pre-order sales. Unsurprisingly it entered the UK charts at No.1 with 153,965 sales within the first week. By the end of the year it had become the 20th biggest selling single of 2011 in the UK, with sales of over half a million.
One Direction performed the single for the first time on 10 September a few weeks prior to announcing their debut headline UK tour, which was set for the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012. By this time, with their huge growth in popularity, it was no surprise when the tour was sold out within minutes of tickets going on sale.
The second single “Gotta Be You” was released in November of 2011 and was quickly followed by the unveiling of their debut studio album, Up All Night. The album features contributions by Kelly Clarkson and Ed Sheeran.
Once more the popularity of One Direction was emphasised by the album becoming the fastest selling debut album on the UK charts in 2011. By the end of the year the album had gone on to sell just short of half a million copies sold.
By the end of 2011 it was announced that One Direction were going to take on the United Sates market with a tour starting in February. It was also announced that the boys had signed a record deal with Columbia in the States and that Columbia would be releasing their album in Canada and the United States in March of 2012.
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