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One Direction

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Artist Snapshot:

    Biography

    Following the success of JLS and the Wanted, X-Factor contestants One Direction were the next group of heartthrobs to help revive the previously dying concept of the boy band. Niall Horan from Westmeath, Ireland; Zayn Malik from Bradford; Harry Styles from Cheshire; Louis Tomlinson from Doncaster, and Liam Payne from Wolverhampton (the latter had previously reached the judge's house stages of The X-Factor as a fourteen-year-old back in 2008) originally entered the 2010 seventh series of the talent show as individuals, but following a suggestion from guest judge Nicole Scherzinger, they were grouped together to become One Direction. Mentored by Simon Cowell, they soon became one of the favorites to win the show, thanks to renditions of Kelly Clarkson's "My Life Would Suck Without You," Elton John's "Something About the Way You Look Tonight," and Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart." However, despite receiving a standing ovation duet on their duet with Robbie Williams ("She's the One") in the live final, they eventually finished third behind Rebecca Ferguson and winner Matt Cardle. Spotting the potential of five Justin Bieber-esque teen pinups, Cowell signed them to his Syco label in a £2million deal, and after performing on the X-Factor tour, the quintet began work on their debut album with Savan Kotecha (Britney Spears, Enrique Iglesias). Following a sponsorship deal with Nintendo DS and a book, Forever Young, named after their cover of the Alphaville classic which was intended to be their winner's song, they released their first single, "What Makes You Beautiful," in late 2011.