One Direction
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One Direction

One Direction are an English-Irish boy bandformed in London in 2010, consisting of members Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson. They signed with Simon Cowell's record label Syco Records after being formed and finishing third in the seventh series of British television singing competition The X Factor. They subsequently signed in North America withColumbia Records.
The release of One Direction's debut studio album Up All Night (2011) established their international breakthrough. In addition, the album marked the first time a debut album by a British group had bowed at number one on the US Billboard 200 chart and features the global chart-topping single "What Makes You Beautiful". After embarking on the Up All Night Tour, they followed the album with their second studio album Take Me Home (2012), which generated another record with One Direction becoming the youngest act in UK chart history to have a number one album and single simultaneously. The accompanying2013 World Tour is set to begin in February 2013, with tickets grossing US$15.7 million for their Australian and New Zealand dates.
One Direction have been described as sparking the resurgence in the boy band concept, and of forming part of a new "British Invasion" in the United States. As of August 2012, One Direction have sold over 12 million albums, singles, and videos worldwide. Their achievements include a BRIT Award and 3 MTV Video Music Awards. Through combined music, merchandising, and touring sales, according to Nick Gatfield, the chairman and chief executive of Sony Music Entertainment UK, as of June 2012, One Direction represented a $50 million business empire. The Huffington Post proclaimed 2012 "The Year of One Direction".

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One Direction
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Up All Night and international breakthrough (2011–12)

Released in September 2011, One Direction's debut single "What Makes You Beautiful" bowed at number one on the UK Singles Chart, after becoming the most pre-ordered Sony Music Entertainmentsingle in history.[21][22] Subsequent singles "Gotta Be You" and "One Thing" both peaked within the UK Singles Chart top ten.[23][24] In November 2011, they signed a record deal with Columbia Recordsin North America.[25] Steve Barnett, the co-chairman of Columbia Records, said it was not a difficult decision to sign One Direction. "Other artists in that category had gotten a little older. I just thought there was a void, and maybe they could seize and hold it."[26] "What Makes You Beautiful" was released in the United States in February 2012,[27] where it debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 28, becoming the highest debut for a British act since 1998.[28] It peaked at number 4 and has sold over 3 million units in the US.[29] Upon arrival in the US in February 2012, One Direction embarked on a radio promotion spree, as well as their first North American concert tour as an opening act for Big Time Rush.[30][31] They made their first television appearance in the US on The Today Showon 12 March 2012 at the Rockefeller Center, an estimated 15,000 fans descended on the plaza.[32]Critically commended for its appeal to the teenage audience,[33] One Direction's first studio album, Up All Night, was released globally in early 2012. It became the UK's fastest-selling debut album of 2011,[34] and topped the charts in sixteen countries.[35] The album bowed atop the US Billboard 200chart, making One Direction the first British group in US chart history to enter at number one with their debut album.[36] They were inducted into the Guinness World Records as a result.[37] Up All Nightalso became the first album by a boy band to sell 500,000 digital copies in the US and as of August 2012, had sold over 3 million copies worldwide.[38][39]


One Direction performing in Sydney during their Up All Night Tour, April 2012
One Direction attended the 2012 Brit Awards at which "What Makes You Beautiful" won the BRIT Award for Best British Single.[40] In April 2012, an American band who went by the same name, filed a trademark infringement lawsuit.[41]According to the lawsuit, the US band had been using the name since 2009, recorded two albums and filed an application to register the trademark name in the US in February 2011.[41]The US band said they were entitled to three times the profits made by the UK band, as well as compensatory damages in excess of US$1million.[41] The lawsuit claimed that Syco and Sony Music "chose to ignore the plaintiff's rights and wilfully infringed them" after they realised in early 2011 that the two bands shared the same name.[41] Syco Records subsequently counter-sued, suggesting the US group was trying to make money from One Direction's success and that the boy band was the first to use the name in US interstate commerce.[42] The BBC reported in September 2012 that the UK group won the legal dispute over the right to keep using their band name; the US band changed its name to Uncharted Shores with the UK group keeping their name.[42] The name change was announced in a joint statement that also noted both groups were happy with the outcome.[42]
In December 2011, One Direction embarked on their first headlining UK concert tour, the Up All Night Tour.[43] In early 2012, they announced Australasian and North American legs of the concert tour, with dates from April to July 2012.[44][45] The tour, resulting in 62 shows, was met with positivity both critically and commercially.[46][47] A recording of a concert from the tour, Up All Night: The Live Tour, was released in May 2012.[48] In addition to the DVD topping the charts in twenty-five countries, as of August 2012, its global sales had exceeded 1 million copies.[39][49] One Direction's first-licensed American book, Dare to Dream: Life as One Direction, was published in the United States on 22 May 2012,[50] subsequently topping The New York Times Best Seller list.[51] In June 2012, Nick Gatfield, chairman and chief executive officer of Sony Music Entertainment UK, stated how he expects One Direction to represent a $100 million business empire over 2013.[52] "What you might not know about One Direction is that they already represent a $50 million business and that's a figure we expect to double next year".[53] In August 2012, sales exceeded 8 million singles, 3 million albums, and 1 million DVDs, and the group performed "What Makes You Beautiful" at the 2012 Summer Olympics closing ceremony in London, which represented the handover to Rio de Janeiro as the host of the 2016 Summer Olympics.[54] One Direction were the biggest winners of the 2012 MTV Video Music Awardswinning their three nominations on 6 September 2012, including Best New Artist.

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