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One Direction

A Deep dive into what makes them beautiful.

The year was 2012. We were living while we were young, with the remnants of summer in the air and newly purchased Union Jack shirts to show off at school. It is hard to imagine the early 2010s without a certain United Kingdom-based boy band influencing our music and fashion choices. The One Direction infection, as it was commonly called, made many individuals’ early teen years, as fans were doing anything and everything to support their favorite band. However, One Direction was not only about the fanfare: the band had huge influence over an entire generation, inspiring young teens to adults.

The band still has a loyal following made up of active fans and reminiscent past “directioners,” a term for their fanbase, years after their official hiatus announcement was made in 2015. This goes to show the intensity of their influence over pop culture and the lasting effects such a monumental band can make.

One Direction got their start on the United Kingdom “The X Factor” in 2010, where each member — Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Zayn Malik, and Louis Tomlinson — auditioned individually, but were grouped together after not passing the boot camp episodes.

The group did not win the X Factor, placing third, but quickly boomed to worldwide success after their hit single “What Makes You Beautiful” released in 2011. No one could turn on the radio or walk into a store without hearing the fun and flirty summer single. This was the first time music felt a boyband boom since the late 90s to early 2000s, and it left an impact on the industry, less successful groups rising out of nowhere only to fail in competing with the five boys from across the pond.

One Direction led a successful five-year career, with heights like winning Billboard’s New Artist of the Year award in 2013 and a total of seven Brit Awards — the British equivalent to the Grammys. According to Forbes, the band earned an estimated 75 million dollars in 2013, becoming the second highest earning celebrities under thirty. 

Their career ended after a worldwide stadium tour, continuing after the departure of Malik in March of 2015, and the release of their last album “Made in the A.M.” featuring the quartet. However, fans still look back at the many years of music fondly and even support the members’ solo careers.

Most notably, Styles has had a successful solo career in terms of acting, music, and continuing to influence the fashion industry with his risk-taking looks. Styles recently won a Grammy for Best Pop Solo Performance with two other nominations.

Despite the popularity of their solo careers, fans still yearn for a reunion. Tomlinson told “The One Show”, “I think it’ll happen at some point: we’d be stupid not to. I think we’re kind of exploring and enjoying ourselves individually.”

Fans continue to stay hopeful of a reunion, but whether this happens or not, the icon that is this boyband will live on. One Direction served as a source of light and happiness to a whole generation: banding together individuals from all over the world.

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