The boys of One Direction have just hit what is quite possibly the biggest milestone of their career, having just secured the top spot in music as the world’s best-selling artists of 2013. This dream became a reality after the band’s third album, Midnight Memories, garnered over four million sales despite only being released in November 2013.
The band’s success at the top of the charts also results in entertainment acts from the United Kingdom dominating international sales in music for six out of the last seven years. British acts reportedly account for one of every eight albums sold internationally in the past year. Indeed, British acts such as Ed Sheeran, Adele, and Mumford & Sons have remained steady at the top of the charts, easily beating out sales numbers from North America and other parts of the world. One Direction holds two spots in the best-selling British acts of 2013, with the album Midnight Memories taking the top spot and Up All Night falling in last place.
The multi-platinum selling group got their start on a British based reality singing competition The X Factor, competing in the seventh season of the show. The five boys started out in solo auditions, never having met each other before. Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson, Harry Styles, and Liam Payne all originated from England, while Nial Horan was born in Ireland. Their solo attempts were not a success and the boys failed to advance in the category of solo males. However, executive producer and judge Simon Cowell made the decision to put the boys together as a group and test out their success at Wembley Arena in London. The band was an enormous hit, thus finalizing their status as a group, and One Direction was born. Their newly instated status allowed them to compete in the group category of the show, in which they advanced easily. The boys eventually landed in third place, with pop-rock singer Matt Cardle being crowned the winner. Shortly after the end of the season, the song that One Direction would have performed had they won the show was secretly leaked onto the internet, a track entitled Forever Young. It was only a matter of weeks before it was confirmed that Cowell had signed the boys to a two million dollar recording contract.
The band’s success in the UK skyrocketed, followed shortly by their becoming a household name all around the world. Their debut album, Up All Night, ranked in the top 5 best-selling albums in the US. The album’s debut single, What Makes You Beautiful, was the most pre-ordered single in the history of Sony Music Entertainment. Since then, the band has released two follow-up albums, entitled Take Me Home and Midnight Memories. The boys are currently working on their fourth studio album, the title of which has yet to be released. They were also the subject of a highly rated documentary, One Direction: This Is Us. There is also an immensely popular merchandise line, which includes everything from clothing to toys to back to school supplies. In total, the band’s net worth is approximately 30 million dollars, an amount that will reportedly skyrocket to 100 million after the release of their next album.
Time will tell whether or not One Direction will retain their spot as the world’s best-selling artist by the end of 2014. However, the band’s success is clearly showing no signs of stopping anytime soon.
by Rebecca Grace