ONE DIRECTION have already made history stateside — debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart — but unless you’re a teenage girl, you may find yourself asking “North, south, east or west?” when you hear the words “One Direction.”
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FIVE IS BETTER THAN ONE
One Direction is comprised of five members, Zayn Malik, Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Niall Horan and Louis Tomlinson, who made their first appearances as solo acts on the U.K. talent show “The X Factor” in 2010.
Harry Styles: Best Looking
If it hadn’t been for “X Factor,” there’s no doubt that Styles would be holed up in a library, hitting the books. At 16, the floppy-haired cutie was busy planning a career in law, sociology and business, singing in a school band called White Eskimo and working in a bakery on the weekends.
“Winning ‘Battle of the Bands’ and playing to that many people really showed me that’s what I wanted to do,” Styles told “X Factor” cameras of his own school’s competition show. “I got such a thrill when I was in front of people singing.”
But Styles soon had to freeze out his jamming schoolmates when he earned a spot on the talent show with his rendition of Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely?” (and wasn’t he?). But the 18-year-old may have been singing to someone other than the judges. In November 2011, Styles was spotted out with 32-year-old U.K. TV host Caroline Flack, igniting paparazzi to document every step of the odd couple’s romance.
Liam Payne: Most Talented
After auditioning for the talent competition to less than stellar reviews in 2008, Payne was at it again in 2010, hoping that two years of practice would make all the difference — and it did.
“I know what it’s like to get thrown out and I just don’t want to have that feeling again,” Payne said before auditioning in front of Cowell for the second time, armed with a powerful rendition of Ella Fitzgerald’s “Cry Me A River.”
Now with superstardom knocking at his back door, Payne proves that second time’s a charm — and now he may finally get the attention of his celebrity crush, Miley Cyrus.
Zayn Malik:The Ladies Man
Zayn Malik stole the words right out of the mouths of his adoring fans with his rendition of Mario’s “Let Me Love You” for his 2010 audition. Malik scored a go-ahead from all three judges, placing him among the male solo acts that would eventually become One Direction — a group that’s poised to blow even Justin Bieber out of the water.
And how do we know that Malik is ready for the hectic world of showbiz? He’s quite the multi-tasker. Malik admits that his first romance was with not one, but three sisters (triplets!), whom he dated at the same time.
“I’d probably take you out for something to eat, maybe go to the cinema to watch a nice film, then just chill out,” Zayn tells Now Daily of his idea for a perfect date.
Niall Horan: The Quiet One
Horan brings a bit of diversity to the group, hailing from Ireland. At his 2010 audition, the bleached blond boy-bander touted comparisons to a fellow pop prodigy with similarly side-swept bands.
“I’ve been compared to [Justin Bieber] a few times and it’s not a bad comparison,” Horan said. “I want to sell out arenas and make an album and work with some of the best artists in the world.”
Louis Tomlinson: The Class Clown
Louis isn’t the only ham to come out of his family. Two of Tomlinson’s four younger sisters appeared as babies on a U.K. television show, often dragging their big brother along as an extra. Although his sisters beat him to the punch, Louis certainly has the last laugh.