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One Direction – Facts behind the phenomena
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You would have to have been living on another planet for the last four years not have heard of One Direction and, if you have teenage daughters, then you have probably heard about little else.
Heralded by some as the new Beatles and derided by others as just another, Simon Cowell, manufactured boy band, whatever you think of them, there is no denying that One Direction has been successful.
One Direction or ‘1D’ as your daughter probably calls them, are the second wealthiest musicians, under the age of 30, in the UK and they made recording history by being the first band ever to have their first three albums in the no. 1 spot in the US Billboard charts. Their career began when they appeared together on the seventh series of televisions The X Factor in 2010 and were signed up by Simon Cowells Syco Records.
One Direction is; Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson. Five boys from England and Ireland, brought together in a band by a music business mogul and then propelled into the limelight by a talent show and by effective use of modern social media, but a flash in the pan they are not.
My own daughter talked of nothing else but One Direction, up until about six months ago when she fell in love with her first real boyfriend, and I heard nothing but Harry this and Harry that. At first I thought she was talking about the Royal Family, not Harry Styles from a pop band. So, to avoid looking like a total old man to my daughter, I decided to do a bit of research and find out what all the fuss is about and here are some facts about the boy band that, apparently, rule the world.
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One Direction Pot Smoking Scandal
Shock Horror! So the squeaky clean One Direction has been caught on camera smoking a joint and everyone is asking if the One Direction smoking cannabis scandal will signal the end of their career.
Really? A couple of twenty something young lads caught on a video smoking a joint is hardly front page news; unless of course the ones smoking the joint in the video are members of one of the biggest boy bands of the moment.
Thevideo of 1D smoking marijuana will do nothing for their popularity with the mums and dads of their teenage fans, but frankly this all just a storm in a tea cup, or a joint in a taxi. The One Direction boys should be more careful though and think of the example that they are setting their young fans, but they can’t be expected to be saints either.
Will the pot smoking scandal burst the 1D bubble? Of course not; they might lose a few sponsorship deals and they will probably get a right royal rollicking from Simon Cowell, but give it a week and it will all be forgotten.
What is a Directioner?
When I was a kid, it was punks, mods and skinheads and it was pretty easy to tell who was who. Today, however, you need to know the difference between a Smiler and a Monster or a Beliber and a Directioner, apparently.
Directioners are One Directions’ most loyal fans who will be there to support the boys in whatever they do for ever (Or until they get a boyfriend!). They say that a Directioner will never forget the ‘the joy that Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, and Zayn Malik brought to them for so many years’ even when the band grows up and go their separate ways.
The Directioners are a force to be reckoned with, so I wouldn't suggest that you diss them, especially online. One Directions Facebook page as nearly 30 million likes and Harry Styles’ Twitter account has nearly 21 million followers.
Get to know the 1D boys
If you're going to be a knowledgeable Directioners’ mum or dad then you're going to need to know something about the 1D boys. They're all cute and they're all great, but each Directioner has their own favourite One Direction Band member, so here’s some facts on each of the members of 1D for you to gen up on.
Harry Edward Styles was born on 1st February 1994 and he comes from a village in Cheshire, England called Holmes Chapel. He went to a state comprehensive school and his parents’ names are Anne Cox (née Selley) and Des Styles. When Harry was seven years old, his parents divorced and his mother then later re-married. Prior to finding success on the X Factor, Harry used to work in a bakery in Holmes Chapel.
As a child, Harry loved singing and was a big fan of Elvis Presley. He also sang for a band called White Eskimo and he cites his musical influences as being Coldplay and Kings of Leon and he is said to often look to the lead singer of Coldplay, Chris Martin, for inspiration.
Niall James Horan was born 13th September 1993 and comes originally from Mullingar, County Westmeath, Ireland. His parents, Bobby and Maura Galagher, divorced when Niall was just five years of age and he and his brother lived between their two parents for several years before they both decided to settle with their father in Mullingar.
Niall went to school at Coláiste Mhuire, a Christian school for boys and it was there that he first started singing as a member of the school choir. He plays the guitar and has been quoted as saying that he is a big fan of swing music and his favourite artists include Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra, but he’s a bit of a rocker too and he also likes Bon Jovi and The Script.
Liam James Payne was born on 29th August 1993. He was born three weeks premature to his parents, Karen and Geoff Payne, in his hometown of Wolverhampton in the West Midlands of England. When he was younger, doctors noticed that Liam had a problem with one of his kidneys and as a child, he had to have regular injections to help him with the pain that his condition caused. He was very sporty at school and he took up boxing lessons when he was aged twelve.
Liam was not a stranger to the X Factor in 2010 as he had already participated in the show in 2008 when he got as far as reaching the judge’s house, but Simon Cowell thought that Liam wasn’t ready yet and told him to come back in two years’ time. Liam cites his musical influences as being Justin Timberlake and Garry Barlow.
Louis was born Louis Troy Austin on 24th December 1991 but his parents split up when he was young and he took the name of his step-father, Mark Tomlinson. Louis is from Doncaster, in South Yorkshire and he went to school at state comprehensive school, Hall Cross School then he attended Sixth Form College at the Hayfield School (He failed his A levels the first time and had to go back).
Initially, it looked like Louis would follow an acting career, he attended an acting school in Barnsley and had small parts on TV in ‘Waterloo Road’ and ‘If I Had You’ but he also appeared in a school musical production of Grease, playing the part of Danny Zuko, which inspired him to audition for the X Factor. The musicians that have influenced Louis are Ed Sheeran and Robbie Williams.
Zain Javadd "Zayn" Malik is from Bradford, West Yorkshire and was born on 12th January 1993. His mother, Tricia is of English and Irish descent and his father, Yaser Malik, is British Pakistani. Zayn had some problems at school, because of his mixed heritage, and he has siad that he didn't fit in.
Zayn is a Muslim and this has caused him some controversy with some accusing him of advertising his faith to his young fans while others accusing him of not taking his faith seriously enough, so he can’t win on that one. He is also a heavy smoker, which won’t endear him to parents either. His main musical influence has been rapping and R&B music and he has said that his dream musical collaborator would be Bruno Mars.
The 1D X Factor First Auditions
One direction didn’t actually audition for the X Factor as a band, they auditioned separately and it was Simon Cowell who put them together as a band.
Niall performed in Dublin, Harry auditioned in Manchester, Louis performed in Manchester, Zayn auditioned in front of judges in Manchester and Liam Liam auditioned in Birmingham. Here is a montage One Directions individual X Factor audition:
All five 1D singers got as far as boot camp, but were then rejected until, in a surprise twist, they were asked if they wanted to go further in the show as a boy band. It was Harry Styles who came up with the name One Direction.
One Direction didn’t win the X Factor
The One Direction singers didn’t come first on the X factor, they came third in the shows 2010 final. Matt Cardle came first and Rebecca Fegusson came second.
One Directions first single
1D’s first single was released was ‘What Makes You Beautiful’ in August 2011.The record was one of the fastest selling singles of the year, it broke the record for the largest number of pre-sales ever and, of course, it went to reach No.1 in the UK charts. The record also went on to win a Brit Award for the Best British Single.
1D and Comic Relief
In 2013, One Direction released the single “One Way or Another (Teenage Kicks)” as the official red Nose Day 2013 single. The catchy compilation of 70’s punk / new wave tunes reached the No. 1 spot in 63 different countries, sold 30 million copies and raised over £2 million for the charity. What’s more, if you remember the Undertones and Blondie, then you’ll probably like this!
One Direction – This is us
More a film for ardent fans, than a work of cinematic art, This Is Us was billed as an intimate look into the life of One Direction. The film contains live footage from a 1D concert at Londons' O2 Arena and of their lives before and after their appearances on the X Factor.
Will One Direction last another twelve months?
One Direction – A flash in the pan or the new Beatles?
There have, inevitably, been comparisons made between One Direction and the Beatles. It is true to say that 1D have been a phenomenal success both here and in the US and they have hordes of screaming fans following their every move. Unlike the Beatles, though, One Direction doesn’t write all their own songs, although they do ‘collaborate’ with other writers.
Sorry, Directioners. It’s a bit early to make that comparison yet. Give it another twenty years or so and, if people are still humming 1D tunes to themselves, then you might have a point!