Now it's One Direction -- but every era has its pretty boy pop band worshipped by millions of young fans across the globe from The Beatles, Duran Duran, and even Bros to Take That
This week One Direction mania will hit Northern Ireland as the latest musical heartthrobs touch down in Belfast for four sell-out shows at the Odyssey Arena.
Unless you've been hiding under a rock for the last couple of years, you'll undoubtedly have heard of the five-piece pop phenomenon. Barely a day goes by that the band members -- Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson, Zayn Malik and Liam Payne -- aren't in the news, as much for their colourful private lives as for their music.
But if you know nothing about the chirpy chart-toppers making your daughters go weak at the knees and you can't tell the difference between Louis or Liam, here's our parental guide to 11 things One Direction.
- One Direction were formed in 2010 after each of the five members auditioned as solo candidates for The X Factor. After failing to progress to the 'boys' category, they were put together as a group at the suggestion of guest judge Nicole Scherzinger. They then made it though to the 'groups' category.
- The band were Simon Cowell's last act in the competition, coming third. Shortly after the show finished, they were signed to Cowell's Syco Records for a reported £2m.
- Four of the band hail from England. The fifth is Niall Horan, who's from Mullingar.
- One Direction's global success has been partly attributed to the power of social media. The five boys are constantly on Twitter and the band's management employs a social media team. One Direction's Twitter account has amassed over 10 million followers, gaining more at an average of 21,000 per day.
- One Direction's debut single What Makes You Beautiful was released in September 2011. It sold five million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling singles of all-time and the best selling song by a band in digital history. It also won the Brit Award for best single.
- In November 2011 they signed a record deal with Columbia Records in North America. What Makes You Beautiful was released in the US, peaking at number four in the Billboard charts. One Direction mania spread through the States. During their first TV appearance on The Today Show, 15,000 screaming fans descended on the Rockefeller Center. Faintings are regular occurrences at such gatherings.
- One Direction's first studio album, Up All Night, was released in the UK in November 2011, followed by a global release in early 2012. It became the UK's fastest-selling debut album of 2011 and topped the charts in 16 countries. The album also topped the US Billboard 200 chart, making One Direction the first British group in US chart history to enter at number one with their debut album. This won them a place in the Guinness World Records.
- In April 2012 an American band who went by the same name filed a lawsuit against One Direction, claiming they had been using the name since 2009 and were entitled to three times the profits made by the UK band, as well as compensatory damages. Syco Records counter-sued and won.
- The band's name was chosen by Harry Styles. Diehard devotees are known as Directioners. They can be very protective and, in some extreme cases, have even issued death threats to girlfriends they disapprove off.
- Speaking of girlfriends, three of the band are loved-up. Louis Tomlinson is in a long-term relationship with Manchester student Eleanor Calder, Liam Payne is dating model Danielle Peazer and Zayn Malik is romancing Little Mix singer Perrie Edwards. Niall Horan and Harry Styles are both single.
- One Direction are believed to be worth a whopping £15m each -- making Simon Cowell a very happy man.