April 29, 2013

Read and Take: One Direction



                One Direction are an English-Irish pop boy band based in London, consisting of members Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, and Louis Tomlinson. They signed with Simon Cowell's record label Syco Records after being formed and finishing third in the seventh series of British television singing competition The X Factor in 2010. Propelled to international success by the power of social media, their two albums Up All Night and Take Me Home, released in 2011 and 2012 respectively, broke several records, topped the charts of most major markets, and generated hit singles, including "What Makes You Beautiful" and "Live While We're Young".Often described as sparking the resurgence in the boy band concept, and of forming part of a new "British Invasion" in the United States, the group have sold over 14 million singles and 8 million albums, according to the band's management company, Modest! Management. Their achievements include two BRIT Awards and three MTV Video Music Awards. According to Nick Gatfield, the chairman and chief executive of Sony Music Entertainment UK, One Direction represented a $50 million business empire by June 2012. They were proclaimed 2012's "Top New Artist" by Billboard, while The Huffington Post named 2012 "The Year of One Direction". History:         In 2010, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, and Louis Tomlinson auditioned as solo candidates for the seventh series of British television reality singing competitionThe X Factor. Failing to progress to the "Boys" category at "judges' houses", after a suggestion by guest judge Nicole Scherzinger, they were put together to form a five-piece boy band at Wembley Arena, London, England, July 2010, during the "bootcamp" stage of the competition, thus qualifying for the "Groups" category. Subsequently, the group got together for two weeks to get to know each other and to practise. Styles came up with the name One Direction. For their qualifying song at "judges' houses", and their first song as a group, One Direction sang an acoustic version of "Torn". In the live shows within four weeks, they were Simon Cowell's last act in the competition. The group quickly gained popularity in the UK. One Direction 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, One Direction 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 producer RedOne. A One Direction-licensed book, One Direction: 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. The tour saw the group performing 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 One Direction worked with producers Carl Falk, Savan Kotecha, Steve Mac, and Rami Yacoub, among others. Up All Night Album          Released in September 2011, One Direction's debut single "What Makes You Beautiful" bowed at number one on the UK Singles Chart, after becoming the most pre-ordered Sony Music Entertainment single in history. Subsequent singles "Gotta Be You" and "One Thing" both peaked within the UK Singles Chart top ten. In November 2011, they signed a record deal with Columbia Records in North America. Steve Barnett, the co-chairman of Columbia Records, said it was not a difficult decision to sign One Direction. "Other artists in that category had gotten a little older. I just thought there was a void, and maybe they could seize and hold it." "What Makes You Beautiful" was released in the United States in February 2012, where it debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 28, becoming the highest debut for a British act since 1998. It peaked at number 4 and has sold over 3 million units in the US. Upon arrival in the US in February 2012, One Direction embarked on a radio promotion spree, as well as their first North American concert tour as an opening act for Big Time Rush. They made their first television appearance in the US on The Today Show on 12 March 2012 at the Rockefeller Center; an estimated 15,000 fans descended on the plaza. Critically commended for its appeal to the teenage audience, One Direction's first studio album, Up All Night, was released globally in early 2012. It became the UK's fastest-selling debut album of 2011, and topped the charts in sixteen countries. The album bowed atop the US Billboard 200 chart, making One Direction the first British group in US chart history to enter at number one with their debut album. They were inducted into the Guinness World Records as a result. Up All Night also became the first album by a boy band to sell 500,000 digital copies in the US and as of August 2012, had sold over 3 million copies worldwide. Take Me Home Album              One Direction's second studio album, Take Me Home, was released in November 2012. The Independent reported in April 2012 that Cowell had challenged music's "most successful" songwriters to compete for space on One Direction's second studio album. In May 2012, One Direction began recording the album in Stockholm, Sweden. The lead single, "Live While We're Young", released in September 2012, peaked inside the top ten in almost every country it charted and recorded the highest one-week opening sales figure for a song by a non-US artist in the US. With the album and its second single "Little Things" both debuting simultaneously at number one in the UK, One Direction became the youngest act in British chart history to achieve the feat. In addition, Take Me Home sold 540,000 copies in its first week in the US, debuted atop the Billboard 200, and topped the charts in more than thirty-four other countries. Their debut album Up All Night became the third best-selling album and Take Me Home the fifth best-selling album of 2012 in the United States, making the group the first act to place two albums in the year-end top five in the Nielsen SoundScan era. Additionally, Up All Night and Take Me Home were the number three and number four best-selling albums of 2012 globally, selling 4.5 million and 4.4 million units, respectively. source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 

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