Boy Band Bests the Beatles, Debuts Atop Billboard Charts

One Direction, a Brit group bred from reality TV, made history by hitting number one with their first album.

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(L-R) Louis Tomlinson, Zayn Malik, Harry Styles, Liam Payne and Niall Horan from the band One Direction pose at Radio Station Q102 iHeartRadiod Performance Theater on March 17, 2012 in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania.

The Beatles or the Stones? Please — America is all about One Direction. The British boy band has done something that neither legendary band was ever able to accomplish. One Direction has become the first U.K. group to debut at No. 1 with their debut album. The band’s album, Up All Night, now enters the record books.

If you aren’t hip to the tween music scene, over the past few weeks One Direction has staged a full-scale American invasion. In addition to selling millions of copies of their albums, One Direction has been in shopping malls across America signing copies of their album and meeting their fans. They also just wrapped a ten-week U.S. tour and performed on NBC’s Today show on March 12. Billboard reports that according to One Direction’s record label, over 10,000 fans showed up for their Today set, which was the group’s first live television performance in America.


Part of the band’s swift rise to fame is due to the group’s genesis. The band was no casual creation of schoolmates practicing in the garage, but instead was created via the most modern of means: reality television. One Direction was formed on the U.K.’s competitive reality show X Factor in 2010. The group, made up of Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson, has sold 176,000 copies of their debut, which is enough to best Adele. The album’s first single, “What Makes You Beautiful,” debuted at No. 28 on the Billboard Hot 100 last month ago, which was the highest entry by a U.K. group’s debut single since Spice Girls’ “Wannabe” in 1997.

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