*This article is obviously biased, so no complaining please!* Edit
One Direction (often shortened to 1D) is a popular boy band from England. They were put together as a performance group by Simon Cowell midway through the 2010 England edition of The X Factor.
In July 2010, Louis Tomlinson, Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Zayn Malik all auditioned for the seventh season of The X Factor as solo artists. Progressing to boot camp, each individual was eliminated. However, Simon Cowell, one of the judges, decided to put them together as a boy band- now they are the group known worldwide as One Direction, having been mentored by Cowell on the show. Although they placed third, their song, "Forever Young" was leaked onto the internet. "Forever Young" would have been the song released had they won The X Factor. A short time after, it was confirmed that the boys had been signed by Cowell to a Syco Records contract, reportedly worth £2 million. In February 2011, their first book, titled One Direction: Forever Young (Our Official X Factor Story), was published by HarperCollins. It very quickly topped the Sunday Times Best Seller List.
In 2012, their first album was released, titled Up All Night. Their first single was released in September 2011, a calendar year before their album's release, titled "What Makes You Beautiful," which was very popular among their fans, reaching number one on the UK Singles Chart. Following singles were less popular, albeit still successful, with "Gotta Be You" and "One Thing" peaking in the UK Singles Chart's top ten. In late 2011 the band signed a record deal with Columbia Records in North America, Steve Barnett saying that there was no doubt about signing them. Their aforementioned first single was released in North America in February of 2012, and debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 28, the highest debut for a British act since 1998. They were the opening act for Nickelodeon band Big Time Rush, and performed on The Today Show. In early 2012 the album was released, and it became one of the fastest selling albums of the UK in the past year, topping charts in sixteen countries. The album debuted at the top of the Billboard 200, an astonishing feat for a British group.
Mere months after the release of Up All Night, the boys released a second album in November 2012, titled Take Me Home. The lead single was "Live While We're Young," which reached the top ten in almost every country it charted in. Their next single was called "Little Things," and it debuted at number one in the UK, simultaneous with their album's release, which also debuted at number one in the UK. Up All Night and Take Me Home were the number three and four best selling albums of 2012 globally, respectively. They performed "Little Things" in the presence of Queen Elizabeth II, and also headlined a sold out show in Madison Square.
2013 was a slayer, the boys smashed it (as if they hadn't already!) well and truly with this one. Midnight Memories was released and included the killers Best Song Ever and the beautiful Story of My Life. By this point, Harold's Manchesterian deliciously husky voice was very well known, as was Liam's Wolverhampton ease of vocals, Louis' raw Yorksherian voice, Niall's Irish Mullinger cutie voice and, who can forget, Zayn's Bradford solo high notes?! Their second book, "100% Where We Are" was released as the ultimate fan book (amazing pictures in this btw, you should really check it out!). 1D day (23rd November 2013) was (oh my carrots) so so so amazing and i loved every minute of it! Included a world tour in this one as well, busy busy boys. Their first film This Is Us was also released and included live footage from their concerts, including the O2 arena in London and interviews.
2014. Aptly named FOUR, as it was their fourth album, this album included Steal My Girl and No Control. Very very good (but then, aren't they all) and cue another world tour (ie. OTRA). Also cue, Zayn disappearances and missing interviews... sob. Official biography released: Who We Are, amazing pics again!! Also, the sequel to This Is Us saw One Direction Where We Are being released, containing exclusive footage from their San Siro concert in Milan, Italy.
2015. The worst year to be a directioner due to stress. However, it was also the best time to become a directioner as it really tested whether or not you had faith in them as a group (ironically, this was the year that I became a directioner although I had always liked their music anyway). 25th March- Zayn leaves as he wanted to "be a normal 22 year old" and Harry, Liam, Louis and Niall vow that One Direction will carry on. Fans cry, scream etc. It was, however, remarkable to note just how well the boys managed to keep going in the middle of OTRA, which helped to reassure fans that it was not the end. July saw Louis (following his break up with Eleanor Calder) hook up with Briana Jungwirth and boom: begin the pregnancy of the baby-mama of Louis' baby. August saw the boys announce that they were taking an extended hiatus- causing numerous speculations over whether or not the boys were actually over. Panic, stress, tears and heartbreak was very common from directioners at this time. November (as with every year from 2010) saw another album release: Made In The AM, which both the boys and many of the fans feel is their best album so far, with hit smashers such as Drag Me Down, Perfect and the fan-anthemic History (which saw Louis proclaiming "this is not the end"). Come December 13th, the boys performed for a final pre-hiatus performance on the X Factor, singing their tracks Infinity and History.
Currently in their break, the boys are considerably quiet on social media for 2016, in comparison to their pre-break moments. Guiness world records, MTV's, Brits, Billboard smashers, VMA's etc. still remain in the hands of the boys, though. Hendall may or may not be present. Zayn released his solo single Pillowtalk, becoming the first UK solo artist to reach No. 1 in the American Billboard charts with their debut single, showing his solo talent to it's fullest, with his debut album Mind of Mine set to be released on the 25th of March 2016. Louis' baby was born on the 21st of January 2016, named Freddie Reign Tomlinson. So far, directioner's continue to hope and pray that "this is not the end", as their love for their fans, huge amount of charitable work and continuous hard work from ages 16-18 with such high amounts of pressures makes them a band that deserves to continue to see success. Update: Congrats boys! 6th Brit Award on 24th Feb 2016.