In 2010, five individuals: Louis Tomlinson; Zayn Malik; Liam Payne; Niall Horan; and Harry Styles, entered independently as singing contestants in season seven of the U.K. television show X-Factor. The judges included: Simon Cowell; Cheryl Cole; Dannii Minogue; and Louis Walsh. The judges soon determined the boys had a greater chance at success as a quintet. Despite the disheartening loss as individual singers, the boys were called back on stage and were given a second chance, however this time they would be a quintet. On July 23rd, 2010 at 8:22 pm, London time, the band One Direction was formed.
No one could have predicted the international musical juggernaut One Direction would become. Despite not winning X-factor, in fact only securing a fourth-place finish, One Direction’s X-factor career was only the beginning of it all. These five boys were a hit in the UK. Upon the release of their first single, “What Makes You Beautiful” the female teenage population of the world collectively swooned while male fans were desperate to capture their boyish look and charisma. As a fellow Directioner once told me: “One Direction has ruined my life … but in the best way possible.” The world seemingly had been exposed to a virus. The One Direction infection.
To Directioners, it appeared as if One Direction would last forever. Nothing could tear the boys apart. However, on March 25th, 2015, the One Direction twitter account broke the news that Zayn Malik was leaving the group. It was a shock to Directioners worldwide. Social media was filled with countless images of distraught, disbelieving Directioners. Some of the upset turned to anger due to Zayn departing just as the On The Road Again tour was starting. The now quartet soldiered on and finished the tour without Zayn. After the tour One Direction returned to the studio to produce one more album entitled Made In the A.M.
As of today, One Direction is no longer together. After the end of their On the Road Again tour in 2015, the boys decided to take a hard earned 18-month long respite to recuperate and spend time at home with their families and friends. Directioners were welcoming of the hiatus as the band had completed four nearly consecutive world tours with virtually no down time. Unfortunately, the 18-month hiatus devolved into the band’s dissolution. Louis Tomlinson broke the news to Directioners on Twitter. In the intervening five years all of the boys have launched successful solo careers. Despite their breakup, I will forever consider myself a Directioner.