One Direction: 5 Things You Need to Know
Boy band mania is back!
British-Irish quintet One Direction first made a splash when they came in third on the U.K.'s X Factor in 2010, and now the group is gaining traction Stateside, with the guys acting as the musical guests on this weekend's Sofia Vergara-hosted Saturday Night Live.
Ahead of the group's SNL performance, Us Weekly uncovers five things you must know about the hot new group, comprised of Niall Horan, 18, Zayn Malik, 19, Liam Payne, 18, Harry Styles, 18, and Louis Tomlinson, 20.
1. Signed to Columbia Records, the quintet is experiencing success similar to that of Beatlemania back in the day. Seeing their first album, Up All Night, debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 charts, One Direction is the first U.K. band in history to earn that honor. "People think that a boy band is air-grabs and being dressed in all one color. We're boys in a band. We're trying to do something different from what people would think is the typical kind of boy band," 1D's Horan has said. "We're trying to do different kinds of music and we're just trying to be ourselves, not squeaky clean."
2. Sorry, ladies! Band member Tomlinson is officially off the market, having dated Manchester University politics and sociology major Eleanor Calder since 2011. "She is a couple of years older than Louis, but the lads in the band think she's the female version of Louis," an insider told the U.K. Sun newspaper of model Calder. "She is gobby, loud and confident but pretty laid-back at the same time."
3. They came together by chance. All auditioning for The X Factor as solo artists, the members were put together into a group at the suggestion of guest X Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger. Following their X Factor stint, the group signed with Simon Cowell's Syco Records and toured as part of the X Factor Live Tour in the U.K. They'll tour the U.S. -- making a stop at New York City's famed Madison Square Garden -- starting this spring.
4. Band member Payne has had his fair share of heath scares before hitting it big. As a kid, he had a kidney removed. "I don't drink at all because I have one kidney," he told Metro last fall. "I have just turned 18 but I don't touch alcohol at all. It's just a choice to be on the safe side."
5. Though they're just now taking hold in the U.S., Malik has long admired his North American entertainment industry peers. In fact, he's a big fan of Justin Timberlake! "My man crush...probably... Justin Timberlake," the singer has said. "He's a cool guy."