The same type of hysteria was last seen with Justin Bieber (not that it has died down). Teens and women all over the word went crazy about Justin Bieber, his fan following keeps getting bigger and bigger day by day but today Bieber has a tough competition from the One Direction boys. That’s UK’s answer to US’ Justin Bieber.
Popularity of the band seems to defy any logical explanation, even when no one had heard a note from their new album, “Take Me Home” there were already pre-sales, which made it the fastest selling album that year and this was just the start for the boys. They had incredible success last year; their Australian tour was sold-out in a matter of just five minutes. One can just imagine what a magic these boys casted on fans.
Looking back at where they started off, they were just another five fellow contestants in X factor. They were eliminated from the competition at the boot camp stage. However the judges, Simon Cowell and Nicole Scherzinger, felt that these five teens were all too talented to lose, and so they decided to offer them a chance to be in the show not as solo performers but let them compete in the Groups category as a five-piece band. They were put together in a group.
They did not win the X factor title but it didn’t matter because they were destined to be “One Direction”, the band that will go in the history of music to be the first British boy band whose both albums – “Up all night” and “Take Me Home” – went straight to No 1 in US charts, a feat no British boy band has managed to pull off before, not even the Beatles. The album topped the 200 Billboard chart with hits like “What Makes You Beautiful” and “One Thing”. And that’s not all, One Direction released their second studio album “Take Me Home” in November 2012 and this got even bigger with their lead single “Live While We’re Young” entering the top ten in almost every country it charted. They are the first British group to achieve such feat.
Notable Achievements of the boys:
Their debut single “What Makes You Beautiful” won the 2012 BRIT Award for Best British Single beating Adele’s “Someone Like You”.
The group won the Best New Artist at the 2012 MTV VMAs and also took home the Best Pop Video award for “What Makes You Beautiful”
The British lads are definitely people’s choice when it comes to award, their debut album “Up All Night” won the Favorite Album award at People’s Choice Awards 2013 and their song “What Makes You Beautiful” was the choice for the Favorite Song award.
They were favorites at the Teen Choice Award 2012 winning all three of their nominations- Choice Music Breakout Group, Choice Summer Music Star Group, Choice Music Love Song.
Sold-out world tour and headlining New York’s Madison Square Garden
When asked what was the defining moment of their One Direction life, here is what the boys had to say, “A personal highlight was probably when we got a No1 in the UK and when the album went to No1 in America,” says Niall. “The top four that week was us, Adele, Guns N’ Roses and Bruce Springsteen. It was ridiculous seeing those names there. Being the first band from the UK and Ireland to go to America and debut at No 1 is just unbelievable.”
With their album breaking records all over the world these British lads are on the brink of super-stardom. But, behind all these achievements, are hard work, dedication and learning of the boys and not to forget Simon Cowell. He is more than a mentor for these boys. As Paul Williams said, “He has a hell of a lot to do with it. He is one of the most famous people on TV in America and he’s been associated with Leona Lewis and Susan Boyle, both of whom have had number one albums in America, so he has a lot of influence.”
Three years back there was (and still is) Bieber Fever; Bieber was also mentored by a very influential musician, Usher. And today it’s a new fever rising – the One Direction Mania. The fan following is massive and possessive. They cry when they spot the boys, hordes of fans swarm over them at every public appearance, they are true Directioners (that’s what One Direction fans are called, remember Beliebers?)
Many had questioned if the bond between the boys was a contrived one. The boys denied it and said that their friendship is not a manufactured one; it has grown from the day they were put together in a group in X Factor, when they didn’t know each other. Today they share most of the time together bonding for the love of music and the madness that their work takes them through.
The boys are not just about music, they have a defined sense of style and eye catching. Just like their music, One Direction’s style is young, fresh and well-coordinated (especially for red carpet appearances). They often go for colored blazers and pants, and match them up with stylish skinny ties.
Each of them has his own distinct style. Louie has a preppy sense of style, often seen in striped shirts and colored bottoms or skinny chinos. He has brought “suspenders” to the limelight of young fashion. Then there is Liam with a more casual and rugged style; he is mostly seen wearing plaid shirts, denims and sneakers. Niall is definitely the most simple and relaxed among the members. He is a jeans-and-tees boy; he loves his classic polos, sweatshirts and cardigans. The bad boy image of Zayn is attributed to his loud looks, layering (including jewelries) and his thing for graphic tees with cheeky messages, varsity jackets, fit jeans and bright sneakers. His style is more urban and sporty. On the other hand, Harry, who is also the youngest member in the band, is known for his quintessential English boy style. Just like his other band mates he is often spotted with skinny chinos and khakis. He loves tailored jackets and his school-boy-blazer look has melted many teenage hearts. Harry’s blazers and chinos (pants) have had an impact on menswear sales.
Another impact that these lads have had is on the critics; Sasha Frere-Jones in his recent New Yorker profile of the band said that the single ‘Up All Night’ includes lines like “People going all the way, yeah all the way / I’m still wide awake” and “I wanna stay up all night/And do it all with you”.‘Let’s get drunk and fuck’ is in there, coded,” says Frere-Jones. “It’s clever and calculated. They’re saying they’re not completely clean-cut. Why do you think they’re up all night?”
Some critics complain that the boys have the looks and the moves but they don’t have the tunes, while others think that every generation needs a boy band and One Direction just fits the bill. All these years there was a certain gap that the Backstreet Boys, Westlife, Take That and others had left, it was a matter of time that One Direction hit the bulls eye and took full advantage of the void. And, moreover, who would not bet on five cute boys who are equally talented and has it in them to attract the teens all over the world. Justin Bieber had set an example to this trend.
The boys had a little brush with controversy after ‘exchange of tweets’ between One Direction’s Zayn Malik and The Wanted’s Max George escalated into intimidation. Since then the feud got messier. In a recent interview with OK magazine, The Wanted continued the feud with some interesting jabs at One Direction. Band member Tom Parker gloated, “What I’m proud of is that I feel like we started this whole generation of new boy bands not dancing. We were the first one there. We’re the coolest boy band around.”
Not quite sure what One Direction has to say on that but keep dancing boys, we love your moves. The jabs did not end there, as Jay McGuiness added, “I think everyone saw us and thought, that’s the blueprint, we’ll tidy it up a bit and then we’ll make a lot of money.”
Whoa, that was a straight shot at One Direction and the managers. Umm! Did Simon Cowell hear that? Did Simon share a few words with Scooter Braun (manager of The Wanted and who also manages and mentors Justin Bieber)?
The boys have everything going with them for now - a sold-out world tour, brand endorsement deals, music contracts and tv shows, only time will tell what’s in store for One Direction. Will they stick as a group? Will they split like any other band does? Will they make fans go crazy even after five years? Will their popularity fade with time? The boys don’t care about any of the above because they are young and they want to “Live While They’re Young”
What the boys had to say on their US no. 1 title:
“When we got put together as a group, we couldn’t imagine ourselves coming to America, let alone releasing our album here, so for us to be sitting at the top of the US album charts is unbelievable. We simply cannot believe that we are number one in America. We want to thank each and every one of our fans in the US who bought our album and we would also like to thank the American public for being so supportive of us.”
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