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2010 – present (7 years)
London, England, United Kingdom
One Direction is a five-member boy band made up of Liam Payne, a music technology student at City of Wolverhampton College (born in Wolverhampton on 29 August 1993), Louis Tomlinson, 18, (from Doncaster), a student at Hall Cross School, Niall Horan, 16, (from Mullingar, Westmeath, Ireland), a student at Coláiste Mhuire, Mullingar. Harry Styles, 16, (from Holmes Chapel, Cheshire) a student at Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School and Zayn Malik, (born on 12 January 1993) 17 (from East Bowling, Bradford). They applied as solo candidates to the competition, but the judges, after a suggestion by Cowell, put them in a band in London, UK, qualifying for the Groups category in the 2010 edition of The X Factor.
Payne had auditioned in 2008 to The X Factor's fifth series when he was 14 and reached judges' houses, but Cowell thought he was not ready for the competition and asked him to come back after two years. This time Cowell chose him to be part of One Direction. Styles was the lead singer for the band White Eskimo with band members lead guitarist Haydn Morris, bass guitarist Nick Clough and drummer Will Sweeney. Malik, a Muslim of mixed Pakistani / British origin, was noted for becoming nervous in bootcamp, when he was told he had to dance, and decided to remain backstage effectively running the risk of elimination. Cowell noticed Malik missing from the dance routine and went backstage to convince him to return. For their qualifying song, One Direction's first ever song together, they sang an acoustic version of Ednaswap's "Torn" made famous by Natalie Imbruglia.
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