1D are an English-Irish pop boy band based in London, comprising Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson. They signed with Simon Cowell's record label Syco Records after forming and finishing third in the seventh series of the British televised singing competition The X Factor in 2010. Propelled to international success by social media, One Direction's three albums, Up All Night (2011), Take Me Home (2012) and Midnight Memories (2013) broke records, topped charts in most major markets, and generated hit singles including "What Makes You Beautiful", "Live While We're Young" and "Story of My Life".
Their achievements include four Brit Awards and four MTV Video Music Awards among many others. According to Nick Gatfield, the chairman and chief executive of Sony Music Entertainment UK, 1D represented a $50 million business empire by June 2012. They were proclaimed 2012's "Top New Artist" by Billboard. According to the Sunday Times Rich List, by April 2013 they had an estimated personal combined wealth of £25 million ($41.2m) making them the second wealthiest musicians in the UK under 30 years of age. After the release of Midnight Memories, One Direction became the first band in the US Billboard 200's history to have their first three albums debut at number one. Additionally, the album was a global success, debuting at number one on the UK Albums Chart, and became the biggest selling album worldwide of 2013
Guys have been recipients of two BRIT Awards—winning their first with "What Makes You Beautiful" for Best British Single at the 2012 BRIT Awards, three NME awards, two Kids' Choice Awards, and four MTV Video Music Awards, among other awards. Guys won all nineteen awards they were nominated for at the Teen Choice Awards. The Band also won two American Music Awards out of their two nominations for Favorite Pop/Rock Album and Favorite Pop/Rock Band/Duo/Group, respectively.
In 2010, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, and Louis Tomlinson auditioned as solo candidates for the seventh series of the British televised singing competition The X Factor. They failed to progress to the "Boys" category at "judges' houses" but were put together to form a five-piece boy band at Wembley Arena, in London, England, in July 2010, during the "bootcamp" stage of the competition, thus qualifying for the "Groups" category. Nicole Scherzinger, a guest judge, and Simon Cowell have both claimed to have come up with the idea of forming the band. In 2013, Cowell said that it "took him 10 minutes to put them together as a group". Subsequently, the group got together for two weeks to get to know each other and to practise. Styles came up with the name . For their qualifying song at "judges' houses", and their first song as a group, sang an acoustic version of "Torn". Cowell later commented that their performance convinced him that they "were confident, fun, like a gang of friends, and kind of fearless as well." Within the first four weeks of the live shows, they were his last act in the competition. The group quickly gained popularity in the UK.
Band finished in third place and immediately after the final, their song "Forever Young", which would have been released if they had won The X Factor, was leaked onto the internet. Shortly afterwards it was confirmed that had been signed by Cowell to a reported £2 million Syco Records record contract. Recording for their debut album began in January 2011, as they flew to Los Angeles to work with RedOne, a record producer. A book licensed by 1D, 1D: Forever Young (Our Official X Factor Story), was published by HarperCollins in February 2011, subsequently topping The Sunday Times Best Seller list. The same month, the boy band and other contestants from the series participated in the X Factor Live Tour. During the tour the group performed for 500,000 people throughout the UK. After the tour concluded in April 2011, the group continued working on their debut album. Recording took place in Stockholm, London and Los Angeles, as worked with producers Carl Falk, Savan Kotecha, Steve Mac, and Rami Yacoub, among others.