One Direction’s journey to the top of the charts

Omo Tseumah

The members of One Direction (commons.wikimedia.org)

One Direction is the newest sensation sweeping the nation. Like Justin Bieber and the Jonas Brothers before him, they have found a way to gain the admiration of a huge teenage fandom.

The band consists of five members ranging from the ages of 18 to 20.

The youngest member, Harry Styles, is credited as being the flirt of the band. His mop of curly hair is his trademark.

Niall Horan is the only Irish member of the group.

Zayn Malik comes across as the shy mysterious one.

Liam Payne is seen as the “daddy” of the group. He is not the oldest, but keeps the boys in line.

Lastly, Louis Tomlinson, the oldest member of One Direction, is known for his mischievous antics.

Their rise to stardom began when they entered the hit British television show “The X Factor (UK)” as solo artists. However, Simon Cowell (creator and judge of “The X Factor (UK)” and mentor to One Direction) decided that the five boys would do greater things if they performed together. Thus, the boy band One Direction was born.

Although the boys would go on to become one of the final four acts in the competition, they would lose overall coming in third. Interestingly their loss was the first time they had ever been in danger of being booted from the show; they were never in the bottom two.

Losing the competition would not slow down the boys. They had acquired a fan base in the United Kingdom that was strong and growing. The super fans are what propelled One Direction towards worldwide fame.

The fandoms of modern artists are changing. Superfans such as Big Time Rush’s “Rushers,” Lady Gaga’s “Little Monsters,” and Justin Bieber’s “Beliebers,” have created buzz on their own that has helped these artist careers.

While controversy has surrounded the band, such as a lawsuit over their name and Styles dating a 31 year old, the support from the fans has never faltered.

One Direction’s fame is considerably different than that of other celebrities in the sense that no promotion went on outside of the United Kingdom, despite their popularity being extremely prevalent in other countries.

“We owe all our success to technology,” says Harry Styles in the One Direction documentary, “A Year in the Making.”

Each member of One Direction has his own Twitter handle along with a shared band Twitter. Tweeting allows the boys to stay connected with their fans and provides for a more interactive experience for fans. One Direction fans can follow band updates.

Without doing any promotion in the United States, One Direction’s debut album, “Up All Night”, shot to number one on the Billboard Hot 100, a feat that other past British artists, such as The Spice Girls, The Beatles, and Elton John never achieved.

Crazy amounts of fan turnout and ridiculous fan antics have caused the band to be compared to The Beatles. It wasn’t since then has such chaos surrounded a band like it does One Direction. While arriving at Heathrow Airport earlier in 2011, fans were licking the windows of the van the boys were in, and fighting broke out outside.

On Feb. 24, One Direction made its American debut performing in concert as the opening act to Big Time Rush at Rosemont Theater. From then on, the band has been touring the country, as well as Australia and New Zealand.

The band will be in America next for a sold-out headlining summer tour starting in May. Their Chicago stop will be on June 2 at Allstate Arena.

The boy band phenomenon is one that proves to have widespread fame and success but a fast decline rate. One Direction could be the next big band, following in the footsteps of Coldplay and U2, or like most teen trends slowly fade to obscurity.

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