It’s been a whirlwind year for One Direction, as they exploded in North America to a level rivaling their original UK fan base. The band is touring the UK now and will be hitting cities across the U.S. and Canada during July and August. How big has the British-Irish quintet become, exactly? The numbers tell all, from career highlights to buzzworthy gossip that’s helped define the boys’ meteoric rise.
After the band’s five members gave up their solo quests and joined forces to compete as a group on the UK’s “X Factor” in 2010, they delivered 15 performances on the show. These 15 performances would help them work their way into the voting public’s hearts. In the end, One Direction finished third, but not before delivering memorable renditions of past and present hits like Natalie Imbruglia’s “Torn,” Kelly Clarkson’s “My Life Would Suck Without You,” Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida,” and Bryan Adams’ “Summer of 69.”
540,000: first-week album sales of sophomore album
After the commercial success of their debut album, “Up All Night,” One Direction saw even greater sales with their sophomore effort, “Take Me Home.” Moving 540,000 copies in the States its first week, it debuted at number one on the Billboard charts. That makes it the band’s second No. 1 album within 12 months. The album topped the charts in more than 35 countries, including Australia, Canada and the UK, and became the fifth-bestselling album of 2012 in the U.S. (“Up All Night” was third).
34: Days Harry Styles publicly dated Taylor Swift
Whether it was real or just for the cameras, Harry Styles’ relationship with notorious breakup songstress Taylor Swift was certainly well documented in the press. First photographed taking a stroll together through Central Park last Dec. 2, they were subsequently caught entering and exiting the same NYC hotels — enough info to suggest a relationship these days. Their lust was further confirmed when they were snapped starting the new year with a kiss at Times Square. But just a few days later, on Jan. 4, Taylor abruptly departed a British Virgin Islands getaway after an alleged row with Styles that ended their relationship.
Still, Styles wishes Taylor nothing but the best. After her Grammy performance in February, he told British radio, “She’s a great performer and she always performs great.” Taylor fans everywhere, meanwhile, wait for her next breakup song.
When Niall Horan announced the group’s first arena tour at the 2012 Brit Awards, it consisted of 15 dates across the UK and Ireland. A year later, what the band has actually embarked on is a 117-show tour across the world, including 54 shows in Europe, 41 in North America, and 22 in Australasia. The tour kicked off in February at London’s O2 Arena, where they sold out a banner nine shows. It will wrap up October 30 in Melbourne, Australia.
98: collective age of the boys in the band
That’s right, add up the ages of these five hit-makers and you don’t quite have a century’s worth of experience between them. Harry, Niall, and Liam Payne are all 19, Zayn Malik is 20, and Louis Tomlinson raises the average at the ripe old age of 21. But if their success — including 53 awards and counting — is any indication, age ain’t nothing but a number.
by Chris Mejaski
Photos: Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Zayn Malik, and Louis Tomlinson of One Direction performed at the Jingle Ball in New York in 2012. (Photo by Brian Killian/WireImage)
Harry Styles, shown performing at this year’s Brit Awards, was famously linked to Taylor Swift. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)
The fun goes beyond music: Louis Tomlinson (with Michael Polish, Kate Bosworth, and Eleanor Calder) recently attended the Topshop Unique show during London Fashion Week. (Photo by Samir Hussein/Getty Images)