One Direction are a British-Irish boy band consisting of members Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson. They signed to Simon Cowell's record label Syco Records after being formed and placing third in the seventh series of The X Factor. They later signed in North America to Columbia Records. In November 2011, One Direction released their debut album Up All Night, which became the fastest-selling debut album in the UK of 2011. In 2012, it debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200, making One Direction the first UK group in history to debut at number one with their first album in the country.Up All Night spawned the Official UK Singles Chart top ten singles -- "What Makes You Beautiful", "Gotta Be You", and "One Thing". In 2012, "What Makes You Beautiful" won the BRIT Award for Best British Single. They have began recording their second studio album, due for release in late 2012. One Direction's world tour is set for 2013, with tickets grossing $15.7 million for their Australian and New Zealand dates. One Direction has endorsements with Pokémon, Nokia, HarperCollins and Hasbro. They have been described as sparking a resurgence in the boy band concept, and of forming part of a new "British Invasion" in the United States. As of June 2012, according to Nick Gatfield the CEO and chairman of Sony Music Entertainment UK, One Direction represent a $50 million business empire.
2010: The X Factor and formation:
"Interestingly, when they left, I had a bad feeling that maybe we shouldn't have lost them and this is when the idea came about that we should see if they could work as a group. We invited these five guys back. The minute they stood there for the first time together - it was a weird feeling. They just looked like a group at that point. I had a good feeling, but then obviously we had about a five-week wait where they had to work together. I was concerned whether five weeks was long enough, but they came back five weeks later and were absolutely sensational. When they came to my house in Spain and performed, after about a millionth of a second. I tried to keep a straight face for a bit of drama for the show. I remember sitting next to this girl who I was working with. The second they left we jumped out of my chair and said, "These guys are incredible!" They just had it. They had this confidence. They were fun. They worked out the arrangements themselves. They were like a gang of friends, and kind of fearless as well."
--Simon Cowell, Rolling Stone, April 2012, about the formation of One Direction
In 2010, Louis Tomlinson, Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Zayn Malik and Niall Horan applied as solo candidates for the seventh series of The X Factor, but failed to qualify for the "Boys" category. After suggestion by guest judge Nicole Scherzinger, they were put together to form a five-piece boy band, thus qualifying for the "Groups" category. The newly formed band had five weeks to gel as a group before the next stage of the competition. The group got together for week-long practice sessions in Manchester in a bungalow at the bottom of Styles's stepfather's garden to get to know each other, and to practice. Styles came up with the name One Direction as he thought it would sound good when The X Factor announcer Peter Dickson read their name out on the live shows. For their qualifying song, and their first as a group, at judges' houses, One Direction sang an acoustic version of "Torn". In the live shows, One Direction covered songs by musical acts; Pink, Coldplay, The Beatles, Elton John, Kelly Clarkson, Snow Patrol, Kim Wilde and Rihanna, among others. After the elimination of F.Y.D., Diva Fever and Belle Amie 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 behind runner-up Rebecca Ferguson and winner Matt Cardle. 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. The group said that the experience was a learning curve, Payne saying: "normally when you put together a band they have some time to go away and do development but we had to do that on a live competition, in front of 20 million people. If you make a mistake in front of an audience like that, you get voted out. We had no room for error whatsoever. We had to grow up very, very fast." Tomlinson added, "We were gutted when we didn't win. But then we just started to reflect on it and we thought, we were the last group there, the youngest in the competition, and we didn't even know each other months ago. And when you look at it like that, we did really well. Some people say X Factor is an easy ride and a queue jump to fame. But we came from nothing, and had no experience as a group at all. And for me, by the time we came to the end of the show, we were a completely different group. We worked so hard, and achieved so much."
2011-12: Up All Night, touring and breakthrough:
In January 2011, One Direction signed a £2 million record contract with Cowell's company Syco Records. Styles stated his excitement: "We wanted to win and coming third was a big disappointment. So to find out we were signed was incredible. Simon Cowell was telling you your life was about to change! It was weird. Coming from our first audition to being signed by Syco is a huge journey". 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," he said. "I just thought there was a void, and maybe they could seize and hold it." One Direction and nine other contestants from the series participated in the X Factor Live Tour from February 2011 to April 2011. The tour saw the group performing for 500,000 people throughout the UK. They recorded their debut album entitled, Up All Night in Sweden, United States, and the United Kingdom. The album features One Direction collaborating with Savan Kotecha, Rami Yacoub, RedOne, Ed Sheeran, Kelly Clarkson, Tom Fletcher, Steve Mac, Toby Gad, and Carl Falk. One Direction released their debut single "What Makes You Beautiful" on 11 September 2011. "What Makes You Beautiful" debuted at number one on the UK Singles Chart, after becoming the most pre-ordered Sony Music Entertainment single in history. In the Irish Singles Chart it remained at number one for four weeks. It was released in the U.S. in February 2012, where it debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at number twenty-eight, becoming the highest Billboard Hot 100 debut for a UK act since 1998. It went on to peak at number four and as of 21 May 2012, had sold 2,060,303 digital downloads in the US. One Direction released their second single "Gotta Be You" on 13 November 2011. It peaked at number three on the Irish and UK Singles Chart, respectively. In the United States, One Direction made their first television appearance on The Today Show at the Rockefeller Center, 12 March 2012. In January 2012, Melissa Lonner, senior entertainment producer for The Today Show, booked One Direction, she scheduled the group for a routine in-studio performance. But once news broke, a deluge of fan emails flooded the show's inbox, forcing NBC to relocate the appearance to Rockefeller Plaza. This was followed by swelling public appearances by the band in other markets like Toronto and Boston, the latter of which attracting an estimated 5,000 screaming fans to Natick Mall. When One Direction appeared in Manhattan on 12 March 2012, an estimated 15,000 fans descended on the plaza, spilling onto the surrounding streets. The crowd ranked among the biggest The Today Show has seen, with only Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga and Chris Brown having drawn that kind of turnout to date. "Keep in mind, Justin Bieber and Chris Brown have had hits in the U.S. and are known in the U.S.," Lonner said. "One Direction is relatively unknown with no hits yet. They basically exploded, and all the adults are saying, 'Who are these people, and how do they know about it?'" Following their popularity in North America, One Direction have been described as sparking a resurgence in the boy band concept, and of forming part of a new "British Invasion" in the United States. Their debut album is predominately a pop music record, which orientates into dance-pop, teen pop, pop rock and power pop, containing electropop and rock music influences. The album received generally favorable reviews from critics. Critics complimented the album for its appeal to teen audience.Up All Night entered the UK Albums Chart at number two, selling 138,631 copies, the highest sales for a number two album in 2011, and became the fastest-selling debut album on the UK Albums Chart of 2011. It was released in North America, March 2012, the album entered the U.S. Billboard 200 and the Canadian Albums Chart at number one, making One Direction the first UK group in history to debut at number one with their debut album in both countries.Up All Night also topped the charts in fourteen other countries. As of 13 May 2012, Up All Night had sold 608,382 copies in the UK, and as of 6 June 2012, 739,000 copies in the United States. As of June 2012, the album has sold 2.3 million copies worldwide.
21 February 2012, One Direction attended the 2012 Brit Awards. The group received the BRIT Award for Best British Single. During One Direction's acceptance speech for their BRIT Award, Payne stated the group would embark on their first arena tour in 2013.On 6 January 2012, One Direction released "One Thing" as their second single outside of the UK and Ireland,. It was released in the UK as the third single on 13 February 2012. In the UK, "One Thing" peaked at number nine, becoming the third consecutive top ten single from Up All Night. "One Thing" was sent by Columbia Records to U.S. contemporary hit radio playlists, 22 May 2012, as also the second single in the region. Ballad "More Than This" has been confirmed to be released as the fourth single. On 26 September 2011, One Direction announced their debut headline UK tour, the Up All Night Tour, set for December 2011 and January 2012. In February and March 2012, they announced Australasian and North American legs of the tour, with dates set for April to July 2012. The total 62-show tour sold out completely. On the tour, One Direction covered Kings of Leon's "Use Somebody", Gym Class Heroes's "Stereo Hearts", The Zutons' "Valerie",Ednaswap's "Torn" and The Black Eyed Peas' "I Gotta Feeling". The group were credited for their live vocals on the tour by Herald Sun,Rolling Stone,The National Post, Jam! Canoe,The Toronto Star, and The New York Times. A recording of their tour, entitled Up All Night: The Live Tour was released in May 2012. The video concert DVD topped the charts in twenty-five countries. In the U.S., it debuted at number one on the Billboard DVD chart, selling 76,000 copies, surpassing sales of the Billboard 200 number one album, John Mayer's Born and Raised, which sold 65,000 copies. One Direction once again made U.S. chart history as the feat marks the first time a music DVD outsold the Billboard 200 number one album. The opening sales also makes it the highest music DVD debut of 2012 and the second highest debut in the past five years behind Adele's Live at the Royal Albert Hall, which launched at number one, with 96,000 copies, in December 2011. As of April 2012, One Direction are being sued for trademark infringement by a low profile Californian band who go by the same name. According to the lawsuit, the U.S. band has been using the name since 2009, recorded two albums and filed an application to register the trademark name in the U.S. in February 2011. The U.S. band say they are entitled to three times the profits made by the UK band, as well as compensatory damages in excess of $1million. The lawsuit claims that Syco and Sony Music "chose to ignore the plaintiff's rights and wilfully infringed them" after they realised in early 2011 that the two bands share the same name. On 13 April, a spokesman for the UK group responded to the claims saying: "One Direction's management tried to resolve the situation amicably. One Direction's lawyers now have no choice but to defend the lawsuit and the band's right to use their name." In June 2012, at a Creative Industries Reception hosted by Sony Music Entertainment UK and the Confederation of British Industry, Nick Gatfield, chairman and chief executive officer of Sony Music Entertainment UK, stated how he expects One Direction to represent a $100 million business empire over the next year. Gatfield talked about One Direction's global success. "What you might not know about One Direction is that they already represent a $50 million business - and that's a figure we expect to double next year," Gatfield stated.
2012-present: Untitled second studio album and world tour:
In May 2012, One Direction began recording their second studio album in Sweden. In April 2012, the group disclosed that they wanted to contribute more to the songwriting for their second album. Styles stating, "we're always writing on the road and in hotels and airports. We don't ever want our music to sound like a 40-year-old man in an office has written it and given it to us to perform." Talking about how they want their new material to sound, Tomlinson stated: "We want to take the next album into a different zone -- more guitars and grungier. We like the sound of a real guitar on tour, we beefed up the live show so now we want to take it onto the album." The album is set for release in late 2012. One Direction's world tour is set to begin in February 2013. The tour thus far consists of 101 shows in the UK, Ireland, North America and Australasia. In the UK and Ireland, ticket sales reached 300,000 within a day of release respectively, which included a six date sell out at London's The O2 Arena. In North America, the group added additional shows due to "overwhelming demand". In Australian and New Zealand markets, tickets grossed US$15.7 million, with all 190,000 tickets being sold for eighteen shows to be held in Australia and New Zealand.
Neil McCormick from The Daily Telegraph published an article on the nature of One Direction's success in North America. Noting that Americans had left a gap in the market stating that it took prominence of Justin Bieber to demonstrate that there was still a market for "clean cut, wholesome, middle class parent friendly pop: cute boys advocating puppy love. And what could be better than one cute boy, if not five?". One Direction have been described as sparking the resurgence in the boy band concept, and of forming part of a new "British Invasion" in the United States. Bill Werde, a representative of Billboard magazine commented. "There's a lot of possibility here, there's a lot of upside, that level of talent with those kinds of looks, it's really a perfect storm for a massive, massive successful phenomenon."
Sonny Takhar, the managing director of Syco Records, attributes the breakthrough to the power of social media. "Sometimes you feel the song's the star, but it's not like that here - it's the act," he says. "It's a real moment. Social media has become the new radio, it's never broken an act globally like this before." Will Bloomfield the groups manager added, "These guys live online, and so do their fans." Their management employs a social media team, the members all tweet themselves, "which helps create the illusion that they couldn't be any closer to their fans." One Direction's Twitter account had amassed 4 million followers as of May 2012, with the account gaining followers at an average of 20,000 per day. Each member is known for their feature; Horan is "the cute one", Malik is "the quiet and mysterious one", Payne is "the sensible one", Styles is "the charming one" and Tomlinson is "the funny one". Horan commented on One Direction as a boy band, saying: "People think that a boy band is air-grabs and being dressed in all one colour. We're boys in a band. We're trying to do something different from what people would think is the typical kind of boy band. We're trying to do different kinds of music and we're just trying to be ourselves, not squeaky clean." Leah Collins writing for The National Post remarked that One Direction had succeeded on the latter front. She writes, "For the most part, that just means the group presents themselves as typical, goofy and uncensored teenage boys -- posting jokey YouTube videos, for instance, or boozing at awards shows." Writing for The Guardian, Kitty Empire opined, "Dance routines are fundamental to the boy band - or at least, to 90s Take That and late-00s JLS. One Direction fulfil a great many boy band prerequisites (looks, soppy lyrics, tune-grasp, fame-lust) but their lack of routines points to the subtle digressions afoot here." Jon Caramanica from The New York Times noted, "The story of boy bands is inevitably the story of disbandment", although he felt, "Given that the band has built some dissonance into its act, it may take a while for that to happen to One Direction."
The first One Direction-licensed book, One Direction: Forever Young (Our Official X Factor Story), was released on 17 February 2011. Published by HarperCollins, the book contains personal snaps, unseen photographs and backstage footage both from The X Factor and the X Factor Live Tour, as well as written accounts of every member of the band. The book reached the number one spot on the Sunday Times Bestseller list.One Direction: The Official Annual 2012, was published on 1 September 2011. The book includes exclusive interviews, up to the minute news and information, and never before seen photos of the band. On 15 September 2011, One Direction released Dare to Dream: Life as One Direction. Like the other books, it contains exclusive unseen photos of the band on and off stage, along with private captured moments. Dare to Dream was also able to secure the top spot on the Sunday Times Non Fiction Hardback Bestseller list.Dare to Dream was released in the United States on 22 May 2012.
One Direction has also released its first calendar for 2012, the One Direction 2012 Calendar. On 15 December 2011, amazon.com revealed that One Direction have achieved the top selling calendar of all time, surpassing Cheryl Cole's Official Cheryl Cole 2011 Calendar and JLS's Official JLS 2011 Calendar in the UK. One Direction became the brand ambassadors for Pokémon Black and White in April 2011. They starred in a series of television ads, as well as special events performing for and meeting fans. They also launched limited edition Nokia C2-02 and Nokia C3-00 phones. They contain exclusive content such as One Direction wallpapers, ringtones, and behind the scenes videos of the band. In April 2012, Hasbro announced it will soon be producing toys, games and entertainment products, including dolls and mini-figures of the members.
In 2010, when One Direction were contestants on The X Factor, they and their fellow series seventh contestants released a cover of David Bowie's "Heroes" in aid of Help for Heroes. The song, said to have been recorded in the week beginning 18 October 2010, was released as a charity single in aid of Help for Heroes, a charity which supports injured servicemen and women. The music video for the charity single was filmed on 2 November at Three Mills Studios. All sixteen finalists performed the song on 20 November's results show. The single entered both the Irish Singles Chart on 25 November 2010 and the UK Singles Chart on 28 November 2010 at number 1. In 2012, One Direction contributed to the book Dish for a Wish. The fundraiser cookbook also features contributions from Gwyneth Paltrow, Myleene Klass, Gordon Ramsay, among others. The proceeds from sales of the book benefit the Rays of Sunshine Children's Charity, an organization that grants the wishes of sick children in the UK. On 9 May 2012, One Direction visited the ill children of the charity. After the visit, the charity's representative tweeted, "thanks to One Direction for a fantastic Rays of Sunshine wish morning today! Lots of wishes granted!" In April 2012, One Direction teamed up with Charitybuzz to help raise money in aid for the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity. VIP tickets to meet the band in person on their North American leg of their Up All Night Tour were made available with the proceeds going to the children's charity. In April 2012, the California Earthquake Authority (CEA) and the American Red Cross joined forces to help more people prepare to survive and recover from California's next damaging earthquake, and to support a unique online auction that benefits local Red Cross preparedness and response programs. One Direction took part in the auction which included unique auction items to meet the band. From 4 April through 27 April 2012, Californians had an opportunity to bid on the auction items. Every dollar donated through the auction supported American Red Cross preparedness and response programs in California. In June 2012, One Direction participated in the GRAMMY Foundation's GRAMMY Camp®-SoundCheck program. The program provides an opportunity for high school and college students to attend professional sound checks of touring artists and participate in a Q&A session. Artists, technical and industry professionals provide the students with a glimpse into the realities of these music careers by engaging in conversations about the specifics of their job, tools for success, life on the road and more.
Niall James Horan, born (1993-09-13) 13 September 1993 (age 18), is from Mullingar, County Westmeath, Ireland, born to mother Maura Gallagher and father Bobby Horan. He has an older brother Greg. Their parents divorced when he was five. He and his brother lived between each of their homes for a few years before eventually deciding to live with their father in Mullingar. His mother remarried and lives in Edgeworthstown, County Longford with Chris, her husband of seven years. He was a pupil at Coláiste Mhuire, a boys' Christian Brothers school. Horan was in the school choir, performing seasonally around Christmas. Prior to participating in The X Factor, he performed around his homeland, including as a support act for Lloyd Daniels in Dublin. Horan has been playing guitar since childhood. In an interview he referred to his guitar as "the best present I ever received for Christmas." Horan revealed his parents took note of his singing during a car trip, "my aunt said she thought the radio was on. Exactly the same thing happened to Michael Bublé with his dad. He's my absolute hero so I like the fact we have a similar story." On auditioning for The X Factor, Horan said "I'm 16 and I want to be a big name like Beyoncé and Justin Bieber," he said. "I've been compared to him a few times and it's not a bad comparison. I want to sell out arenas, make an album and work with some of the best artists in the world." Horan said "I was always the kid that picked up the nearest instrument and just loved music." He has also stated that he is a "big swing" fan, citing artists Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Michael Bublé. Horan also cites rock music, he is a fan of The Eagles, Bon Jovi and The Script. Additionally he cites recording artist Ed Sheeran. When Sheeran and One Direction collaborated on the song "Moments" for their debut album, he said it as an honor to work with him.
Zain Javadd "Zayn" Malik, born (1993-01-12) 12 January 1993 (age 19) in St. Luke's Hospital, is from West Lane, Bradford, England. Born to British Pakistani father Yaser and an English mother, Tricia Malik (née Brannan), he has three sisters Doniya, Waliyha and Safaa. He grew up in East Bowling, located south of the Bradford city centre. Malik was a pupil at Lower Fields Primary School in East Bowling and went to Tong High School, a state comprehensive school. Malik didn't fit in at his first two schools due to his mixed heritage, revealing that when he and his sister moved schools he felt he fitted in better. After moving school at the age twelve, Malik, states he started taking pride in his appearance. During his time on The X Factor, his grandfather passed away, he has a tattoo of his grandfather's name Walter in Arabic on his chest. On auditioning for The X Factor, Malik, said "I was looking for an experience". He cites urban music as his main musical influence. Growing up, he was into R&B and rap. For his X Factor audition, he performed the Mario R&B song "Let Me Love You". He as well as other members of One Direction further notes artists such as Bruno Mars, as a "dream collaborator." Malik is addicted to smoking cigarettes, in 2011 he expressed desire to quit, saying "I definitely have to quit smoking. I need to do it." In May 2012, after months of media speculation, Malik and Little Mix member Perrie Edwards confirmed they are in a relationship. Malik once tweeted, "La ila ha ill lalla ho muhammed door rasoolalah", the tweet is a common declaration of faith among Muslims meaning: "There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the prophet of Allah." Kari Huus from msnbc.com, felt it is, "likely to alienate some conservative Muslims and has already sparked the wrath of at least one well known anti-Muslim conservative in the US." However Wajahat Ali, a San Francisco-based screen writer who is a practicing Muslim, felt Malik represents progress. "It is empowering for Muslims worldwide to see the success of a pop star who also happens to be Muslim. It sends that message that a person can be respected for their talent, and their "Musliminess" will not exclude them from the public arena and culture," said Ali. "It's also good business. You have a Muslim in a five-person boy band... and you have captured an audience of Muslim girls worldwide." Zudhi Jasser, an American Muslim who frequently warns of Islamic radicalization, commented, "I would say all the power to him to be respectful to his faith and be proud of it," said Jasser. But he also notes that conservative Islamists would likely frown on many aspects of Malik's behavior--his smoking, his tattoos, ear piercing, and song lyrics that -- "while saccharine -- probably would not be seen to glorify God." Ali, the screenwriter, said that even if more conservative Muslims don't agree with Malik's behavior, he could help expand the artistic boundaries for young Muslims. "What we have seen in the last 10 years is that you can be an artist who is Muslim and can be practicing and doing art that is inspired by your beliefs, but does not have to be overtly Islamic or using religious language," he said. "A guy like Zayn Malik can really help open those minds and convey that as a generation we are moving ahead."
Liam James Payne, born (1993-08-29) 29 August 1993 (age 18), is from Wolverhampton, West Midlands, England. Born three weeks early to mother Karen and father Geoff, he has two older sisters, Ruth and Nicola. Until the age of four, Payne had regular tests done in hospital as doctors noticed one of his kidneys was scarred and dysfunctional. To help cope with the pain, he had 32 injections in his arm in the morning and evening as a child. Growing up, his mother would juggle shifts as a nursery nurse to accompany him on all his auditions. As a student, Payne was heavily involved in sports, primarily trying out for various school teams, he eventually found his place on the cross country running team, coming first "From then on I was training all the time and getting up at 6am to run for miles. At the age of 12 they put me in the school's under-18s team." Payne was bullied in secondary school and took up boxing lessons, saying he "needed to find a way to defend myself, I was, at 12 years old, fighting the 38-year-old trainer. I broke my nose, had a perforated eardrum and I was always coming home with a bruised, puffy face. But it gave me confidence. I got pretty good over the next couple of years." In 2011, he commented, "I went and told my parents and my teachers, but it the bullying didn't stop so I had to sort it out myself. I was in year eight and they were sixth-formers. I got this guy I knew, who was in his early twenties, to pretend to be my big brother and pick me up from school." In 2012, in an interview with The New Zealand Herald on advocating how to deal with bullying, Payne stated, "you have to tell someone", adding "you have to stand up to it, you make yourself a target, you make yourself easy to be picked on and just let things happen, that's what happens, but when you do something, you're active about it, you make sure something's being done about it then it will slowly stop." He was a music technology student at City of Wolverhampton College. Before The X Factor, Payne had once performed in front of a 26,000 crowd at a Wolverhampton Wanderers' football match. Payne first auditioned in 2008 to The X Factor's fifth series when he was fourteen. He made it to the judges' houses, but Cowell thought he was not ready for the competition and asked him to come back in two years. Payne cites Justin Timberlake as one of his biggest influences. He also says he draws inspiration from Take That member Gary Barlow when performing. Regarding his one functional kidney Payne said "I have to be careful not to drink too much, even water, and I have to keep myself as healthy as possible." He is currently in a relationship with dancer, Danielle Peazer. They met on The X Factor in 2010 and have been in a relationship ever since. The backing dancer for The Saturdays and Jessie J has received death threats and other forms of cyber bullying on social networking site Twitter, due to her relationship with Payne.
Harry Edward Styles, born (1994-02-01) 1 February 1994 (age 18) is from village Holmes Chapel, Cheshire, England. He is a former pupil at Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School, a state comprehensive school. Born to mother Anne Cox and father Des Styles, he has an older sister, Gemma, he was seven when their parents divorced; his mother later remarried to Robin Twist. Regarding his parents divorce he said, "that was quite a weird time. I remember crying about it. I didn't really get what was going on properly, I was just sad that my parents wouldn't be together any more." Following the divorce, Styles, his older sister and his mother moved further out into the Cheshire countryside. At the age of twelve he moved back to Holmes Chapel. That was when his mother met his stepfather Robin Twist. Styles said he was "really pleased" when Twist proposed to his mother. Styles was the lead singer for the band White Eskimo with band members lead guitarist Haydn Morris, bass guitarist Nick Clough and drummer Will Sweeny. They had once entered a Battle of the Bands competition, which they won. Before The X Factor, then sixteen-year old Styles had a part-time job at the Holmes Chapel, W Mandeville Bakery. As a child, Styles loved singing, noting Elvis Presley as one of his influences. He also cites Presley for his musical beginnings. Styles also cites current musical acts, Foster the People, Coldplay and Kings of Leon among his influences. "We want to have a little bit heavier guitars, bigger drums, more of a live feel, because that's what we like doing," Styles says for their next album. "Because we are 18 years old, it's important that we like what we're doing as well. It wouldn't be good if we weren't enjoying what we're doing, and we are." Styles states that The X Factor gave him "a lot more" confidence as a performer and singer. Styles says that he often looks to Coldplay front man Chris Martin for inspiration when performing on stage. Styles also states that The Beatles had a profound influence on him growing up, as his father would play their music. "I still listen to their music over and over again. They are absolute icons and an inspiration," he said. He briefly dated English television presenter Caroline Flack, which caused widespread media controversy over their fifteen-year age gap.
Louis William Tomlinson, born Louis Troy Austin(1991-12-24) 24 December 1991 (age 20), is from Doncaster, South Yorkshire, England. He was born to mother Johannah Poulston and father Troy Austin. His parents split when he was young and he took on his stepfather Mark Tomlinson's name. He has five younger half-sisters, on his father's side: Georgia Austin, and on his mother's side: Charlotte, Félicité, and twins Daisy and Phoebe Tomlinson. Daisy and Phoebe had roles as babies on a show called Fat Friends, he would go along and serve as an extra. After Fat Friends, he attended an acting school in Barnsley. He had small parts in an ITV1 drama film called If I Had You, and BBC's Waterloo Road. He was a sixth form student at Hall Cross School, a state comprehensive school, and a former pupil of the Hayfield School. He revealed that he failed his first year of A levels at the Hayfield School, "mainly because I'd been too busy having fun. I was out all the time in that first year." He ended up going back to Hall Cross and started A levels over again. As a student at Hall Cross, Tomlinson starred in several musical productions. He once had a job at Doncaster Rovers football stadium as a waiter in their hospitality suites, although he supports Manchester United. Tomlinson revealed that landing the lead role of Danny Zuko in a high school musical production of Grease was his motivation for auditioning for The X Factor. Tomlinson cites English recording artist and Take That member Robbie Williams as his biggest influence and idol. In an interview with Now Magazine he stated: "I've always loved Robbie. He's just so cheeky, he can get away with anything. His performances are unbelievable. We met a lot of celebrities on The X Factor and he was one of the nicest." He also cites recording artist Ed Sheeran, describing him as "phenomenal." Tomlinson is currently in a relationship with Manchester University student Eleanor Calder. In 2011, his mother and step-father announced they were getting a divorce.