One Direction is one of the most popular pop boy bands in the world, and now that they are on an indefinite hiatus that started in 2016, it’s a good time to look back at their beginnings. What was the first song that One Direction released?
One Direction’s cover of Alphaville’s “Forever Young” is their first unofficial single, which would have been released had they won their season of the show. Their debut single outside of The X Factor was “What Makes You Beautiful,” the lead single of their first studio album.
Read more below to find out about their first single, the creation of the band, and their indefinite hiatus.
What Makes You Beautiful
After they came third on The X Factor in 2010, they began recording their first album in both the United Kingdom and the United States, working with many different writers and producers. Their debut album, Up All Night, was the fastest-selling album of the UK in 2011 and was the number one album of the United States Billboard 200.
The album was an international success, topping the charts of 16 different countries, and their first official song “What Makes You Beautiful” went quadruple platinum in the United States, peaking at number four on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number one on the UK Singles Chart.
Their unofficial first song together was their cover of “Forever Young,” a song by Alphaville, which they performed on The X Factor. It would have only been released if they had one, so it now remains their unofficial single.
While What Makes You Beautiful may have been their first official song together, a lot of their music has special meaning for their fans. This fan tweeted her appreciation of the song “Story of My Life,” saying, “This song is so special to me. It’s the first song I listened to from one direction. This is the song which made me a directioner.”
One Direction was beloved throughout their time together, leaving fans heartbroken when they announced their indefinite hiatus in 2016, though thankful that they would continue as solo artists.
Check out the YouTube video below to watch the music video of One Direction’s first official song, “What Makes You Beautiful.”
Back to the Beginning
Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, and Louis Tomlinson all auditioned as solo singing acts on the seventh series of The X Factor in 2010, a show created by the world-famous television personality and entertainment manager, Simon Cowell, in 2004.
They were all between the ages of 16 and 19 at the time they were on the show, and though they didn’t go on in the boot camp stage of the competition for the “Boys” category, they were put together to form a boy band and joined the “Groups” category.
Cowell and Nicole Scherzinger, a guest judge on the show, both claimed that they came up with the idea of putting them together. In an interview in 2013, Cowell said, “It was my idea [to put you guys together]… I just said, ‘Why don’t we put these guys into a group?’ It took ten minutes!”
That ten-minute decision started a lifetime career for the five singers, as after finishing third on the show, they signed with Cowell to Syco Records and began recording, touring, and winning the hearts of millions of fans.
Malik left the band in 2015, and they released their fifth and last album as a group of four, Made in the A.M. Their last song as a band before they went on an indefinite hiatus and their final single from the album was “History,” released on November 6th, 2015.