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Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson, Niall Horan, Harry Styles and Liam Payne of One Direction performs during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on Aug. 12, 2012 in London, England.
MTV named One Direction their 2012 Artist of the Year this week. The British boy band superstars released two albums Stateside this year, “Up All Night” and “Take Me Home,” scoring two top 10 hits: “Live While We’re Young” and their signature song, “What Makes You Beautiful.”
MTV said that One Direction was “the clear choice for the top spot,” according to the Associated Press. They conquered America and had a prominent spot as a symbol of the British Isles during the Olympics closing ceremony, so it's a tough decision to argue with.
Looking for a One Direction fix? Sorry, Southern California — they’re not playing a show here until next summer. But there’s a lot of them — they’re playing four nights in Los Angeles at the Staples Center, Wednesday through Saturday, August 7–10. Unfortunately for the non-hardcores, those shows are already sold out.
One Direction looks to be a dream come true for both teen girls and scalpers alike.
Niall, Zayn, Liam, Harry and Louis were all solo acts on the U.K. version of “The X Factor” in 2010, before the later launch of the U.S. version of the show, but when they failed to advance at one point in the competition, the judges pulled them together into one group. Like Captain Planet or the “Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers,” five combined ended up being more powerful than any one of them and brought boy bands back in the 2010s.
They didn’t end up winning the show (they came in third), but their fame continued to be driven by a rabid fan base — better known as “Directioners” — who showed their love for One Direction and its individual members with a big social media presence. The group seemed to draw its inspiration from the shy members of old school boy bands, dropping a little of the swagger for an emo-y introspective glance.
Will their fame last? Will the Wanted make more of a U.S. impact and become the ’N Sync to rival their Backstreet Boys? With over 15 million albums sold, One Direction has a nice foothold in the music world — but tastes can change overnight.