One Direction are an English-Irish pop boy band based in London, consisting of Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson. They signed with Simon Cowell's record label Syco Records after being formed and finishing third in the seventh series of the British televised singing competition The X Factor in 2010. Propelled to international success by the power of social media, One Direction's two albums Up All Night and Take Me Home, released in 2011 and 2012 respectively, broke several records, topped the charts of most major markets, and generated hit singles, which include "What Makes You Beautiful", "Live While We're Young" and One Way or Another (Teenage Kicks).
Often described as forming part of a new "British Invasion" in the United States, the group have sold 19 million singles and 10 million albums, according to the band's management company, Modest! Management. Their achievements include two BRIT Awards and four MTV Video Music Awards. According to Nick Gatfield, the chairman and chief executive of Sony Music Entertainment UK, One Direction represented a $50 million business empire by June 2012. They were proclaimed 2012's "Top New Artist" by Billboard. By April 2013, the band had an estimated personal combined wealth of £25 million.