One Direction are a British-Irish boy band formed in London in 2010, consisting of members Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson. They signed to Simon Cowell's record label Syco Records after being formed and placing third in the seventh series of British television music competition The X Factor. They later signed in North America to Columbia Records.
Buoyed by the international chart-topping debut single, "What Makes You Beautiful", One Direction's debut studio album, Up All Night (2011), topped charts around the world. It became the fastest-selling debut album in the UK of 2011 and debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200, making One Direction the first UK group in U.S. chart history to debut at number one with their first album. In 2012, "What Makes You Beautiful" won the BRIT Award for Best British Single. One Direction supported the album with their Up All Night Tour. One Direction's 2013 World Tour is set to run for most of 2013, with tickets grossing $15.7 million for their Australian and New Zealand dates, and is set to be preceded by their second studio album, Take Me Home, which is scheduled for release in November 2012.
One Direction have been described as sparking a resurgence in the boy band concept, and of forming part of a new "British Invasion" in the United States. As of June 2012, according to Nick Gatfield, the chairman and chief executive of Sony Music Entertainment UK, One Direction represent a $50 million business empire. Their work has earned them awards and nominations. One Direction have supported various charities and foundations, and have commercial endorsements with Pokémon, Nokia, HarperCollins and Hasbro. They also appeared as themselves in the iCarly episode "iGo One Direction" (2012).