One Direction became a band when judges put five solo singers together during the 2010 season of X Factor UK. Mentored by Simon Cowell, the group finished third in the competition. Upon release of their first single "What Makes You Beautiful" One Direction became pop stars. They followed with more top 10 hits and in early 2012 invaded the US. One Direction, with Up All Night, became the first British group to open at #1 on the US charts with their debut album.
Born September 13, 1993, Niall Horan grew up in Ireland. He has played the guitar since childhood. Niall Horan sees a connection with Michael Buble in the fact they share a childhood story of a relative believing the car radio was on when hearing them sing. He was advanced to X Factor's bootcamp with three out of four positive votes. At bootcamp Niall Horan failed to advance as a solo artist after singing Oasis' "Champagne Supernova." Instead, he was placed into the group One Direction.
Zayn Malik was born January 12, 1993 of both English and Pakistani descent. He made an impact on viewers when, during bootcamp, he refused to dance on stage with other contestants and instead remained backstage during that segment. Simon Cowell tracked him down and convinced him to return to the stage. Zayn Malik was eliminated as a solo performer at the end of bootcamp and was then added to One Direction.
Liam Payne grew up as an athlete. He was born August 29, 1993, and, after a sickly childhood, he ran cross country in school. Liam Payne originally auditioned for X Factor in 2008 at the age of 14. He made it to judges' houses and was then eliminated. He was encouraged to return and try again in two years. After being eliminated during bootcamp in 2010, Liam Payne was asked to join One Direction.
Harry Styles sees Elvis Presley as one of his key influences. He was born February 1, 1994, and his parents divorced when Harry Styles was seven. He was lead singer for a band named White Eskimo. Harry Styles was rejected by X Factor as a solo artist and asked to join One Direction. He currently lives with fellow group member Louis Tomlinson.
Born December 24, 1991, Louis Tomlinson is the oldest member of One Direction. He went to an acting school as a child and performed on stage in a number of musical productions. Louis Tomlinson was rejected as a solo performer at X Factor's bootcamp after singing Adele's "Make You Feel My Love." He lives with fellow One Direction member Harry Styles.