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Tuesday 21 November 2017

Timeline: One Direction's life in the spotlight... warts and all

English-Irish pop band One Direction performs at Velez stadium in Buenos Aires on May 4, 2014 early morning. LAURA TENEMBAUM/AFP/Getty Images)
English-Irish pop band One Direction performs at Velez stadium in Buenos Aires on May 4, 2014 early morning. LAURA TENEMBAUM/AFP/Getty Images)
Denise Calnan

Denise Calnan

From puppy-cuddling, pink jumper-wearing teens to a group of five young men worth millions of euro; One Direction have grown up in the spotlight.

The world successful band have done their fair share of PG performances and charity work, but scandal has also followed them in recent years, culminating this week with a video allegedly showing Louis and Zayn smoking cannabis.

We've followed One D from their very first audition on 'The X Factor' in 2010. Here is a timeline of their lives in the spotlight, warts and all:


And so the story begins... One Direction are formed on the hit TV talent show ‘The X Factor’. The band is formed at the bootcamp stage, as all five boys audition as solo artists, with both music mogul Simon Cowell and ‘X Factor’ judge Nicole Scherzinger taking credit for the idea.

The band wins third place in the seventh series of the show and are signed to Simon Cowell’s record label Syco soon afterwards. The boys are all prolific tweeters and the power of social media propels them to stardom.

February 2011

Fans rush to buy the band’s first official book. ‘One Direction: Forever Young (Our Official X Factor Story)' is published by Harper Collins.

September 2011

The boys release their first studio album ‘Up All Night’ and their first single ‘What Makes You Beautiful’. The earworm tune sells over four million copies in the US.

Squeaky clean: Can it get any more 'boyband' than this?

Squeaky clean: Can it get any more 'boyband' than this?

October 2011

One Direction hit the headlines as scandal for the first time as token boyband womaniser Harry Styles is revealed to be dating ‘Xtra Factor’ presenter Caroline Flack. Their age difference (he was 17, she is 32) sees the couple face criticism and Caroline even receives death threats from fans. They end the relationship in February 2012.

A Twitter pic that confirmed Styles and Flack were together

A Twitter photo that confirmed Styles and Flack were together

December 2011

The band embark on their first headlining tour of the UK. The year 2011 also sees them perform on Children in Need and help raise over £26m.

January 2012

Harry Styles denies a naked photo leaked online is him. Eagle-eyed fans claim the necklace in the picture is the same one Harry usually wears.  Since, Harry has posted several erotic photos on his official Twitter account. In one black and white image, he pulls his underwear down seductively.

April 2012

April sees the boys in more scandal as an American band that goes by the same name as them files a trademark infringement lawsuit. One Direction’s record label Syco countersue the US musicians, claiming the band are trying to make money from the boys’ success. In September 2012, BBC report the Irish-UK group to have won the legal dispute. The American band change their name to ‘Uncharted Shores’.

One Direction perform live on stage during the Matinee performance at Hordern Pavilion on April 13, 2012 in Sydney, Australia.

One Direction perform live on stage during the Matinee performance at Hordern Pavilion on April 13, 2012 in Sydney, Australia.

May 2012

Although 2012 sees One Direction win Best British Single at the BRITS for ‘What Makes You Beautiful’, it also sees Zayn Malik in a spot of bother. The singer, who was going out with his now-fiancee Little Mix’s Perrie Edwards at the time, is filmed through a hotel spy hole asking a girl to come into his room.

In a separate incident, while on a promotional tour in Sweden, the boys’ transport is followed by a large group of girls who reportedly lifted up their tops and pressed their chests against the car windows.

June 2012

The boys are officially a $50m business empire.

July 2012

Fans’ speculation on social media websites leads to several articles reporting the possibility of a romance between band members Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson. The close friends rubbish the claims.

August 2012

Harry Styles continues to live up to his role of ‘the ladies’ man’ when married radio presenter Lucy Horobin divorces her husband Oliver Pope after rumours of an affair with Harry.

September 2012

The ‘bad boy’ of the group, Zayn Malik, is the centre of further cheating scandals when in late September he is recorded on the phone asking girls to go to his hotel room.

Zayn Malik of One Direction (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

Zayn Malik of One Direction   (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Getty Images)

November 2012

Less than two years after their debut on ‘The X Factor’ and the boys already release their second album, ‘Take Me Home’.

December 2012

The band sell out a show at New York City’s Madison Square Garden. They are also dubbed ‘Top New Artist’ by Billboard.

January 2013

Model Courtney Webb claims to have had a fling with Zayn and posts photos of what seems to be the singer asleep after the incident.

Read more: Zayn Malik one-night-stand waitress gets death threats from 1D fans 

February 2013

The band clock up their philanthropic points as they travel to Ghana and volunteer at a children’s hospital.

The same month sees Harry Styles join his friend Nick Grimshaw on his breakfast radio show. The pair had been spotted at three different parties after the BRITS and Pixie Geldof tweeted them while they were in the studio and said they were ‘wasted’.

Harry Styles joins his friend Nick Grimshaw on his breakfast radio show

April 2013

One Direction are named the second wealthiest musicians in the UK under the age of 30. They have an estimated combined wealth of $25m, according to the Sunday Times Rich List. 2013 also sees the boys release their third studio album in three years, ‘Midnight Memories’.

August 2013

‘One Direction: This Is Us’ 3D documentary and concert movies hits the big screen worldwide... and to say there is ‘One D mania’ would be a serious understatement. The film is directed by the renowned Morgan Spurlock and it is currently the fourth highest grossing concert movie in the world.

See the photos:  

November 2013

The band host ‘1D Day’, a day dedicated to their mass of fans on social media. One Direction feature live on 7.5 hours of socially interactive YouTube streaming which include performances and celebrity guests speaking about the boys.

January 2014

A photo of band member Liam Payne standing on a ledge outside his 35th floor London apartment block goes viral online. Payne later apologises for posting the controversial photo.

Read more: Liam Payne apologises for 'irresponsible and stupid' stunt that could have risked his life  

May 2014

A video of Zayn and Louis allegedly smoking cannabis is leaked online. The duo chat candidly in the footage, referencing the contents of their cigarette several times. Zayn has previously been photographed with suspicious-looking cigarettes in his hand.

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