- One Direction was formed in 2010 and they have broken many music records over the past decade.
- Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, Harry Styles, and Zayn Malik have gotten matching tattoos.
- One of the band’s unreleased tracks is called “Man on a Mission” and Payne has a tattoo of one of the song’s lyrics.
- Between 2010 and 2017, the British-Irish group won more than 200 awards and accolades.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The British-Irish music group One Direction (1D) is known for being one of the most successful boy bands of all time.
Initially comprised of Liam Payne, Zayn Malik, Niall Horan, Harry Styles, and Louis Tomlinson, One Direction put out five hugely successful albums, participated in four headlining world tours, broke streaming records, and snatched up countless awards – all while earning the devotion of millions of fans around the globe.
With the band’s 10-year anniversary approaching this month, now’s a great time for fans to brush up on their 1D knowledge in preparation for a potential reunion.
Here are 25 interesting things you may not know about One Direction.
Simon Cowell said it took him 10 minutes to come up with the idea to combine solo artists Horan, Malik, Payne, Styles, and Tomlinson into a group.
In 2010, Horan, Malik, Payne, Tomlinson, and Styles auditioned as solo artists for “The X Factor,” a singing-competition show based in the UK.
The five of them were eliminated early on in the competition, but judges Simon Cowell and Nicole Scherzinger invited them back for the opportunity to compete together as a group, thus forming One Direction.
The group went on to place third in the competition overall, but they still secured a record deal with Cowell’s label, Syco.
Cowell later told the band during the 1D Day web event in 2013 that it took him 10 minutes to come up with the idea to combine the five of them into a group.
They were almost called an entirely different name.
Of course, this did not have quite the same ring that One Direction did, and it was immediately shut down.
Styles is widely credited with coming up with the band’s name, which he’s said doesn’t really have a special meaning.
Their United States debut became a significant part of UK music history.
With their first full-length album, “Up All Night,” One Direction became the first UK-based musical group to debut at no. 1 on the US Billboard 200 album chart.
According to a statement that the band’s label, Syco, gave Reuters, the band sold more than 176,000 copies of the album within minutes of its official release.
Prior to joining the band, Malik had never flown on an aeroplane.
The Bradford-born singer said on “The Jonathan Ross Show” that the first time he’d ever boarded a flight was with his fellow One Direction bandmates.
Malik told the host that he was initially nervous about the experience – and that Tomlinson made it even worse.
” … I was quite nervous about it so before the plane took off I’m sat with Louis on one side and Liam’s on the other – and Louis goes, ‘Right when it takes off it’s gonna do a loop-de-loop in the air,'” Malik recalled to the host. “So I remember, for like 20 minutes of the journey, I was waiting for it to go upside down. Just terrified.”
One Direction was once the opener for fellow boy band Big Time Rush.
Big Time Rush, the US-based boy band that had a Nickelodeon show from 2009 to 2013, once had One Direction has their opening act.
1D was the opener for part of the North American leg of Big Time Rush’s first national tour, the Better With U tour.
Per J-14 magazine, one of Big Time Rush’s members, Kendall Schmidt, later told Teen.com it “sucked” having 1D as their opening act.
“Let’s put it this way: when One Direction were opening for us, their support was blossoming,” Schmidt said, per J-14. “As cool as it was to hang out with them, it sucked for us because there would be 2,000 girls outside the show singing their songs, even though we were headlining.”
They had secret games that they played with each other to keep themselves entertained during press days.
In a YouTube video earlier this year, Payne said One Direction used to use code words to get out of “boring” things they didn’t want to do.
“When we didn’t, like, wanna go somewhere … we’d just have a word – it was like a code word – where we’d all just fall on the floor and lie there until everybody went away, which I think is the best game we ever invented,” Payne said.
He added, “There were a number of code words … like, ‘Help me!'”
They were brand ambassadors for the Pokémon Black and Pokémon White video games.
In 2011, One Direction partnered with Nintendo UK and became brand ambassadors for the company’s Pokémon Black and Pokémon White video games.
They even performed at the launch party in London to celebrate the game’s release.
Four out of the five band members have matching tattoos.
In an interview with Glamour UK, Tomlinson and Malik revealed that the four British members of the band have crosses inked on their ankles.
In a later video with AskAnythingChat, Tomlinson said this bit of ink kicked off his tattoo addiction.
“We decided – well most of us actually except for Niall – as a band to get these little ones on our ankle,” he explained. “And then I suppose I just started getting addicted.”
Additionally, Tomlinson and Malik have corresponding “Bus 1” tattoos, which are believed to reference the band’s tour bus.
Horan remains tattoo-free to this day.
Payne once described One Direction’s sound as a “Pink in a boy band form.”
In an early interview with Teen Vogue in 2012, One Direction seemed to imply their songs had more of an edge to them than standard pop music.
Payne told the publication, “We’ve always described our sound as a bit more guitar driven than normal pop music. Kind of Pink in a boy band form. We’ve heard a few people say that so now we use it. I think Pink is amazing person to be compared to.”
The Grammy-winning artist Pink is known for her edgy, pop-rock music.
In addition to appearing on countless talk shows, the band appeared as themselves on episodes of “Family Guy” and “iCarly.”
During the early days of One Direction, all five boys appeared on an episode of the popular Nickelodeon series “iCarly.“
The 2012 episode follows a plot where Harry contracts a fictional disease known as “jungle worms.”
Several years later, all of the band members – except for Malik – voiced animated versions of themselves for an episode of Fox’s “Family Guy.”
Between 2010 and 2017, they won more than 200 awards and accolades.
In addition to becoming a global sensation, One Direction racked up an impressive number of accolades during their five years together.
They have seven Brit awards, six Billboard Music Awards, seven American Music Awards, and four MTV Video Music Awards.
They also currently hold the record for most Teen Choice Award wins, earning 28 overall.
Some members of One Direction have had Twitter feuds with members of the UK boy band The Wanted.
In 2012, drama broke out between members of The Wanted and One Direction when Malik called The Wanted member Max George a “wannabe.”
According to E! Online, the feud escalated with a series of back-and-forth exchanges that included a range of insults. For example, Malik called George “chlamydia boy” and George tweeted for Malik to “Stay off the bud…It makes you cranky.”
Although many of these tweets have since been deleted, these public disputes fuelled a rivalry between The Wanted fans and One Direction fans.
The Wanted went on an indefinite hiatus in 2014.
One Direction has collections of office supplies, dolls, singing toothbrushes, and fragrances.
As 1D grew into a cultural phenomenon, the group began to stamp their name on more products than just CDs and sweatshirts.
In 2012, the group paired with Hasbro to release a collection of dolls in their likeness that quickly sold out. They also had a line of Brush Buddies singing toothbrushes that played some of their hit singles.
One Direction has been longtime friends with James Corden.
Over the years, the boys have cultivated many friendships with high-profile celebrities, but one of the most notable is their bond with “The Late Late Show” host James Corden.
Corden reportedly met One Direction in the early days of their careers thanks in part to Tomlinson, whose late mother once worked on a UK television program that featured Corden as an actor.
One Direction’s also appeared on “The Late Late Show” – and their Carpool Karaoke is one of the most-watched ones of all time, with over 162 million views on YouTube.
British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran is responsible for writing several 1D hits, including “Moments,” “Little Things,” “Over Again,” and “18.”
Ed Sheeran told Capital FM that he wrote the track “18” specifically for One Direction, whereas the other songs were originally supposed to be on his own albums.
Beyond having a professional music bond, Styles has been longtime pals with the hit-making “Shape of You” singer.
Tomlinson appears behind the wheel in nearly half of One Direction’s music videos.
Payne said in a video for his YouTube channel in 2020 that “[Louis] always got to drive in every music video, none of us ever got to drive anything.”
And it’s true that Tomlinson was often chosen to be the driver in music videos that involved motor vehicles.
In the behind-the-scenes footage for the “Kiss You” music video, Tomlinson also shared he’d driven in three videos up to that point, adding, “In the second [video, “Gotta Be You”], I broke a Mini Cooper. In ‘Live While We’re Young,’ I broke the Jeep.”
In addition to driving in “Gotta Be You” and “Live While We’re Young,” the “Walls” singer has technically been behind the wheel in nearly half of One Direction’s 17 music videos.
He drove a futuristic vehicle in “Drag Me Down,” an old-school bus in “What Makes You Beautiful,” an open-top car in “Night Changes,” and a faux prop car in “Kiss You.”
Technically, the “History” music video also features Tomlinson behind the wheel in a flashback clip from the “Live While We’re Young” video.
As a fun bonus, in the “Midnight Memories” video, Tomlinson and the rest of the band drive motorised scooters.
The band’s third album, “Midnight Memories,” was the best-selling album around the globe in 2013.
As the BBC reported, according to data from the British Phonographic Institute (BPI), “Midnight Memories” was the best-selling album around the globe for 2013.
Although the album was not released until November 2013, per the BPI, “Midnight Memories” sold an impressive 4 million copies in less than two months, instantly topping the charts.
The rock-inspired record included chart-topping hits like, “Story of My Life,” “Best Song Ever,” and “You and I.”
According to Forbes, the band’s Where We Are tour was the highest-grossing concert tour of 2014.
The group’s Where We Are tour kicked off in April of 2014 and covered 69 shows across multiple countries to promote their album “Midnight Memories.”
According to Forbes, the successful stadium tour brought in an estimated $US290 million in revenue.
The experience was commemorated in a concert film that was shot at San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy.
The band was once forced to leave a Trump hotel because, Payne said, the band wouldn’t wake up at an “ungodly” hour to fulfil Donald Trump’s special requests.
During a 2017 episode of the web series “Hot Ones,” Payne told host Sean Evans that the One Direction boys were forced to leave a Trump hotel after they were denied access to a special garage entrance and exit.
This was in December 2012, just before the group was set to perform at Madison Square Garden.
Payne said that, as far as he’s aware, Trump “called up at like some ungodly hour asking if we could come and meet his daughter and our tour manager politely said, ‘They’re in bed – like it’s not gonna happen right now.'”
The singer said Trump told their manager to wake up the band and when the manager refused, they had their access to the hotel’s private, underground garage entrance and exit revoked, which caused a safety issue. After that, Payne said, the group left.
While on CBS’s “The Late Late Show” in 2018, Horan said that Trump told One Direction that they would not be able to use the hotel’s garage because they refused to take a photo with his lawyer’s daughter, so they left.
One Direction’s hit single “Midnight Memories” was originally about Kentucky Fried Chicken.
The guitar-heavy hit, which was co-written by Payne and Tomlinson, was originally about the popular fast-food chain Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC).
“The first inspiration for ‘Midnight Memories’ was KFC,” Payne said in an interview with French television station Cauet in 2013. “True story … The chorus originally was ‘I love K-F-C.'”
He added, “We wanted to actually release that version.”
Years later, Tomlinson told MTV that writing “Midnight Memories” was a “real magic moment,” adding that the song came together in about 45 minutes.
They have been immortalised at Madame Tussauds wax museum.
For years, five realistic-looking One Direction wax figures have been on display at the iconic Madame Tussauds in London.
The band members also donated their own clothes to be part of the fixtures.
They’re the first boy band to be recreated in wax for the museum since the Beatles in 1964
The boys were known to play many pranks on each other.
Throughout the years, One Direction has been known for playing countless practical jokes on each other, including publicly pantsing one another, as well as messing with each other’s dressing rooms and vehicles.
In fact, in the 2013 documentary concert film “This Is Us,” Payne pulls down Styles’ pants in the middle of a “What Makes You Beautiful” solo.
But pantsing is nothing new to the group. During a Q&A session with AskAnythingChat in 2015, Horan said, “I had my trousers pulled down at a service station by Louis Tomlinson.”
This wasn’t the only time Horan was the target of a Tomlinson prank.
During an interview with Yahoo! Music in 2013, Payne said someone once put glue in his hat, though he doesn’t know who.
Tomlinson also shared that he and Malik once played a practical joke on Horan by putting lemons in his new, white shoes.
When asked why they did it, Tomlinson said, “It’s not a trick. It’s just weird.”
Their song “No Control” is considered an unofficial single from the album “Four.”
In 2015, fans launched a campaign to get “No Control” an official single release, and they created a series of viral hashtags, like #ProjectNoControl and #NoControlDay, that moved radio stations around the world to play the song.
In an interview on “The Late Late Show With James Corden,”Tomlinson explained that fans decided to do their own release of the song because they loved it so much and “‘No Control’ was never a single that was chosen by us.”
Tomlinson even tweeted his appreciation for the fan movement.
The band has recorded countless tracks that fans might never get to hear.
During an official web hangout with “Night Changes” video director Ben Winston, the 1D boys said that they have recorded countless tunes that have never been released.
The group told Winston that all of the unused tracks went into a vault for a possible future release.
In the interview, Payne also shared he has a lyric from the band’s unreleased track “Man on a Mission” inked on his arm. It reads, “Somewhere is a place that nobody knows.”
One Direction once broke a record for being the most popular music group on Twitter.
The band’s official Twitter account broke the Guinness World Record for most followers for a music group in 2015 with a follower count of 23,393,106.
At the time of publication, the One Direction Twitter account has over 30.4 million followers, even though it hasn’t tweeted since 2018.
Currently, among the individual members, Horan has the largest Twitter following with over 39 million followers. Styles is close behind with over 34 million followers.