2012 YEAR IN REVIEW

TOP OBSESSIONS

Obsessions: #7 One Direction

The five-member English-Irish boy band One Direction took North America by storm, selling more than 15 million albums and inspiring comparisons to the "British invasion" of the 1960s. Simon Cowell's label signed them after their third-place finish on "The X Factor," and they became an international sensation and dominated the U.S. charts with singles "What Makes You Beautiful" and "Live While We're Young."

The band—Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson—won three MTV Video Music Awards in 2012, including best new artist.

One Direction's second studio album, "Take Me Home," was released in November, selling 540,000 copies in its first week, according to Billboard. Maybe even a more definite sign of their fame: a new fragrance and MTV's timeline of one member's romance with Taylor Swift.