One Direction
Contestant Profile


Category Groups
Mentor Simon Cowell
Placement 3/16
One Direction are an all-male British-Irish pop group who finished in 3rd place on Series 7 of The X Factor, mentored by Simon Cowell. They have gone on to become one of the most successful all-male pop groups of all time.

The X Factor

All five members-Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, and Louis Tomlinson-originally auditioned for the show as solo artists but were given a second chance after they each failed to qualify for the Boys catagory. Guest judge Nicole Scherzinger, who would later become a judge on both The X Factor USA and The X Factor UK, made the suggestion that the five guys would fare better as a group, resulting in their formation. They finished in 3rd place behind runner-up Rebecca Ferguson and winner Matt Cardle. Despite not winning, they became the most successful act coming from this series.


Post X Factor

Up All Night and international success (2011-2012)

The group got signed to Syco Music and
One Direction!
released their first album Up All Night, on November 18, 2011. Their first single off the album, "What Makes You Beautiful", was released on September 11, 2011. Up All Night was later released in the United States on Columbia Records on March 13, 2012. With 176,000 copies sold in the US in its first week, the album debuted at number 1 on the Billboard 200 album charts, making One Direction the first UK group to debut at number 1 with their debut album. The album has also hit number 1 in other countries such as Sweden, Italy, and Canada, and their first single "What Makes You Beautiful" also won the Brit Award for Best British Single on February 21, 2012. "What Makes You Beautiful" was even covered by Lakoda Rayne singer Hayley Orrantia and former American Idol contestant Tim Halperin as a duet. The song's music video earned the group 3 MTV Video Music Awards on September 6, 2012. Both the album and "What Makes You Beautiful" earned the guys two People's Choice Awards on January 9, 2013.

Take Me Home, world tour, and movie (2012-2013)

The group started working on their second album, Take Me Home, in May 2012 in Sweden with plans to involve
One Direction – Take Me Home album cover

Take Me Home

themselves more in the songwriting process. The album was released on November 12, 2012, hitting number 1 on both the Billboard 200 in the United States and number 1 on the UK album charts. The album's first single, "Live While We're Young", was released to radio on September 30, 2012. Their second single, "Little Things", was released on November 11, 2012. The group then embarked on a world tour that started in February 2013. The guys also squeezed in some time to record a new single, "One Way or Another (Teenage Kicks)", which is the official single for the British charity, Comic Relief, for 2013. The song is a mashup of the 1979 Blondie hit "One Way or Another" and the 1978 Undertones song "Teenage Kicks". It was released on February 17, 2013. All proceeds from the sales of the single will go to Comic Relief.

The guys will also star in a 3D biopic film, One Direction: This Is Us, directed by Morgan Spurlock. The movie was released on August 30, 2013 via TriStar Pictures.

Midnight Memories, tour, and new book (2013-present)

On May 16, 2013 the guys excited their fans by announcing a new world tour, The Where We Are Tour, to

"Midnight Memories"

begin in 2014. The guys also announced that they were releasing a book, Where We Are: Our Band, Our Story, on May 21, 2013. The book will be released on August 27, 2013. They released a new album, Midnight Memories, on November 25, 2013. It debuted at number 1 in multiple countries including the UK and the United States.

The guys also released a new single, "Best Song Ever", was released on iTunes on July 22, 2013. The song is from their 3D movie, One Direction: This is Us. It's also on Midnight Memories.


Some of the group's most famous fans include season 1 The X Factor USA finalist Rachel Crow, American First Lady Michelle Obama, season 11 American Idol runner-up Jessica Sanchez and singer-actress and former The X Factor USA judge Demi Lovato.

The group's fans refer to themselves as "Directioners".


One Direction made their American televison debut on the popular Nickelodeon show iCarly on April 7, 2012. They've also performed on the long-running comedy show Saturday Night Live. The group even appeared in the first episode of season 2 of The X Factor USA on September 12, 2012, welcoming viewers to the show. They performed both their current hit "Live While We're Young" and their new single "Little Things" on The X Factor USA on November 8, 2012. They made another The X Factor USA appearence at the season 2 finale on December 20, 2012, performing their single, "Kiss You".

Four and Zayn Malik's departure (2014-2015)

On September 8, 2014, the group announced that their fourth album, Four, would be released on November 17, 2014 with one of the songs, "Fireproof", being made available as a free download for 24 hours. The album went on to top both the UK and US Billboard Charts. In support of Midnight Memories and Four, the band's Where We Are Tour was the highest-grossing concert tour in 2014, and the highest-grossing tour ever by a vocal group, generating $282 million.

On March 25, 2015, it was confirmed that Zayn would be departing the band to focus on a solo career but the rest of the band said they would carry on as a quartet. Zayn would go on to top both the UK and US charts with his debut single "Pillowtalk", the latter being a feat that the band never achieved.

Made in the A.M. and hiatus (2015-present)

On July 31, 2015, the band released new single "Drag Me Down", their first as a quartet. This was followed by their fifth studio album Made in the A.M., which was released on November 13.

At the 2015 American Music Awards on 22 November, the band won the award for Artist of the Year for the second year in succession. Around that time, they confirmed plans to go on hiatus and Louis Tomlinson later confirmed that the break would be around 18 months. Their last televised performance as a group, before their hiatus, was on Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve on 31 December 2015.

In January 2016, band member Louis Tomlinson became a father for the first time when ex-girlfriend Briana Jungwirth gave birth to their son Freddie Reign.

In February, it was confirmed that Harry Styles had left the group's management. He was later cast in Christopher Nolan's new movie Dunkirk, which is set to be released in 2017. In June, it was confirmed that Styles had signed a solo recording contract, with several reports claiming the deal to be worth $80 million for three albums. In July, Payne announced that he had signed a solo recording contract with Capitol Records and a month later it was announced that Niall Horan had signed a solo deal with Universal Records. Niall scored a Top 10 single both in the UK and Ireland with his debut single "This Town".

Band member Liam Payne began dating former The X Factor UK judge Cheryl in early 2016 and on November 29, 2016 it was unofficially confirmed that they are expecting their first child together. On March 22, 2017, she gave birth to a son, later named Bear.

The following month, Harry Styles scored a UK #1 single with his debut solo single "Sign of the Times" and his eponymous debut album, released the following month, also topped the UK charts. The same month Niall Horan scored another Top 10 single, both in the UK and Ireland, with his second single "Slow Hands". Liam Payne also released his debut single "Strip That Down", which reached the Top 3 in both the UK and Ireland. He and Louis Tomlinson also contributed to the charity single "Bridge Over Troubled Water" and included fellow X Factor artists Leona Lewis, James Arthur, Ella Henderson, Louisa Johnson and Matt Terry. It reached #1 after only two days sales.



  • What Makes You Beautiful (2011)
  • Gotta Be You (2011)
  • One Thing (2012)
  • More Than This (2012)
  • Live While We're Young (2012)
  • Little Things (2012)
  • Kiss You (2013)
  • One Way or Another (Teenage Kicks) (2013)
  • Best Song Ever (2013)
  • Story Of My Life (2013)
  • Midnight Memories (2014)
  • You and I (2014)
  • Steal My Girl (2014)
  • Night Changes (2014)
  • Drag Me Down (2015)
  • Perfect (2015)
  • History (2015)


  • Up All Night (2011)
  • Take Me Home (2012)
  • Midnight Memories (2013)
  • Four (2014)
  • Made in The AM (2015)
UK Series 7 Finalists
Aiden GrimshawBelle AmieCher LloydDiva FeverF.Y.D.Katie WaisselMary ByrneMatt CardleNicolò FestaOne DirectionPaije RichardsonRebecca FergusonStorm LeeTreyc CohenWagner