SPIN Takes A Look Back At 10 Y...


SPIN Takes A Look Back At 10 Years Of One Direction

Tara Walsh
Tara Walsh

11:06 23 Jul 2020

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10 years of One Direction

It's crazy to think Liam, Harry, Niall, Zayn and Louis formed One Direction on The X Factor 10 years ago today.

We think it's safe to say the boys have been on one hell of a journey ever since.

SPIN takes a look back at 10 years of One Direction.

Liam's audition

It feels like just yesterday that we were snuggled up on the sofa watching The X Factor auditions in 2010.

Liam auditioned for the singing competition in 2008 however, he didn't make it past the judges houses.

Thankfully, this didn't get in the way of his dream of becoming a pop star.

He returned two years later and auditioned at the age of 16.

Liam performed an incredible rendition of Cry Me A River by Justin Timberlake.

After the performance, Simon gave him, "One massive, fat, almighty yes."

Harry's audition

The Watermelon Sugar artist auditioned for The X Factor when he was 16 as well.

At the time, the pop sensation had just finished his GCSEs and was working in a bakery.

He put on an amazing performance of Stevie Wonder's Isn't She Lovely.

Niall's audition

The Irish legend Niall Horan auditioned for The X Factor when he was also 16.

He said he wanted to be like Beyoncé and Justin Bieber, an artist many compared him to at the time.

Not only did this audition mark the beginning of his career as an artist, but it also solidified a friendship between himself and Katy Perry, who was a guest judge at the time.

Surprisingly, Niall didn't receive a great response from the judges and was cut off by Simon mid song.

Simon told him, "I think you're unprepared, you came with the wrong song, you're not as good as you thought you were, but I still like you."

Niall walked away with three thumbs up from the judges, putting him through to the next stage.

Louis' audition

Louis performed his rendition of Hey There Delilah by The Plain White T's.

Nicole Scherzinger, Simon Cowell and Louis Walsh all gave Louis the thumbs up, sending him through to the next round.

Little did he know, he would return years later as a judge himself! Louis' come a long way since then.

Zayn's audition

Zayn auditioned for the talent show during the Manchester auditions in 2010.

He performed his rendition of Mario's Let Me Love You and had the whole crowd swooning over him.

Zayn really impressed the judges and of course, made it through to the next stage of the competition.


Liam, Harry, Niall, Louis and Zayn's world came crashing down when they learned they hadn't made it through Bootcamp.

Harry wiped away his tears with his hat, admitting, "I'm really gutted."

Niall said, "It's the worst thing I've ever felt in my life - standing there and waiting for your name to be called and then it's not."

However, their journey didn't end there.

Simon called them all back on stage and revealed they would be continuing the competition as a group.

One Direction was formed. **goosebumps!!**

All five boys became best friends and made their way to The X Factor live finals.

One Direction didn't win the show, but they did go on to win the hearts of millions of people worldwide.

When asked what's next for the boys, Zayn told Dermot O'Leary, "This isn't the last of One Direction."

What came next

The boys went on to embark on four world tours, releasing five incredible albums.

They made fans worldwide and appeared on some of the biggest late night talk shows including Fallon, Kimmel, Ellen and more.

In 2015, Billboard revealed the boys sold over 6.49 million U.S. albums.

Each album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart, 'making them the only group in the 59-year history of the chart to see their first four albums bow at No. 1.'

Zayn's departure

It was announced in March 2015 that Zayn had decided to leave One Direction.

The boy band announced the news on Facebook at the time, 'After five incredible years Zayn Malik has decided to leave One Direction.'

'Niall, Harry, Liam and Louis will continue as a four-piece and look forward to the forthcoming concerts of their world tour and recording their fifth album, due to be released later this year.'

Meanwhile, Zayn said, 'My life with One Direction has been more than I could ever have imagined.'

'But, after five years, I feel like it is now the right time for me to leave the band.'

'I'd like to apologise to the fans if I've let anyone down, but I have to do what feels right in my heart.'


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Up North.

A post shared by Zayn Malik (@zayn) on

The singer continued, 'I am leaving because I want to be a normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight.'

'I know I have four friends for life in Louis, Liam, Harry and Niall.'

Zayn finished, 'I know they will continue to be the best band in the world.'

Liam, Louis, Niall and Harry announced in August that same year that they were going their separate ways.

They went on to pursue solo careers in music and each member became extremely successful.

Here's where they are now:


Liam released his debut solo single Strip That Down, which reached number three in the UK.

He also pursued a romantic relationship with The X Factor judge Cheryl however, they split in 2018.

They remain close as they co-parent 3-year-old son Bear.


Louis released his debut solo single Just Hold On in 2017 and it became a massive success.

He also went on to serve as a judge on The X Factor, mentoring winning contestant Dalton Harris.

Louis also became the father to 4-year-old son Freddie Reign.


Niall dropped his debut album Flicker in 2017 and it was a massive success.

His most popular tracks from the album were Slow Hands and This Town.

He also released a brand new album called Heartbreak Weather this year and we absolutely love it.


Harry released his debut single Sign Of The Times in 2017 alongside his self titled debut album.

Two years later, the singer released Lights Up before dropping his second album, Fine Line.

Harry also made his acting debut in Christopher Nolan's 2017 war thriller Dunkirk.


Zayn kicked off his solo career in 2016 with the release of his single Pillowtalk from the album Mind Of Mine.

According to The Independent, he  became the first British male artist to debut at number one in both the UK and U.S..

Malik is now expecting his first child with girlfriend Gigi Hadid, who starred in the music video for Pillowtalk.

Happy One Direction day!

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