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Who are they?

An English-Irish boy band formed in London in 2010. The line-up: vocalist-guitarist Niall Horan (19, Irish), “bad boy” Zayn Malik (19, born to a British-Pakistani father and English mother), the reticent Liam Payne (19, he made it to the fifth series of The X Factor but was asked to come back after two years), Harry Styles (18, the youngest member is famous for his curly mop of hair and is rumoured to be seeing Taylor Swift) and Louis Tomlinson (20, the eldest member and a Robbie Williams fan). And did we say they are oh-so-SO cute?

Why are we talkin’ about them?

After Simon Cowell’s record label Syco Records signed them on, they started to break other records! They are the youngest UK act to simultaneously reach number one on album and singles charts. They have already won a BRIT Award and three MTV Video Music Awards. And they are the first UK band to conquer the US Billboard 200 with their debut album, Up All Night.

What kind of music do they play?

A catchy brand of rock-infused pop (ahem, whatever that means) but they are influenced by Bruno Mars, Robbie Williams and Coldplay. To know them better, listen to songs like What Makes You Beautiful and One Thing. Also a hit is their cover of Kings of Leon’s Use Somebody which they performed on The X Factor.

Do they have any celebrity fans?

Leading the list is 22-year-old singer Taylor Swift who’s said to have a crush on Harry Styles. But the buzz is that the boy with the mop has a crush on another sensation among teens Cheryl Cole. On the other hand, Niall has come out about his crush on current The X Factor judge Demi Lovato. Liam likes Leona Lewis, though he has a girlfriend, and so do Zayn and Loius.

One of their biggest fans is Katy Perry. She was wowed by them when she appeared on the reality show as judge and congratulated them on Twitter when their debut album entered the US charts. Another fan is Kelly Clarkson, whose song My Life Would Suck Without You was covered by the band in The X Factor finals (2010). She later wrote a song, Tell Me A Lie, for their debut album. Their fan list also includes Nicole Scherzinger of Pussycat Dolls.

What does Simon Cowell have to say about them?

Interestingly, when they left (The X Factor), 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. 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 during which they had to work together. I was concerned whether five weeks was long enough, but they came back... and were absolutely sensational. When they came to my house in Spain and performed... I tried to keep a straight face for a bit of drama for show. I remember sitting next to this girl who I was working with. The second they left we jumped out of our chairs 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.

Quote from The Rolling Stone magazine

What about real fans?

Paromita Ghosh, a 24-year-old model, says, “I love their look, their unruly mop of hair and their songs are so catchy. What Makes You Beautiful has a personal tone... it makes me wish that it were written for me.” She is just one of the million “Directioners”... Yes, that’s what One Direction fans call themselves!

DJ Speak

“I’ve heard quite a lot about the band from teenagers. Now we’re just waiting for a good remix to come out,” says DJ Girish.

What next?

Sony Pictures is making a 3D film about One Direction, which will be directed by documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock. TriStar Pictures will release the film in August 2013.

Britney’s wedding

After watching them on Cowell’s TV show, Britney Spears has asked the boys to perform at her wedding (after she completes the shoot for The X Factor) to Jason Trawick.