One Direction top global acts chart
Simon Cowell has said he is proud of One Direction after they topped another chart - a top 10 of the most popular acts in the world.
The band, who got together during the 2010 series of X Factor, were named the Global Recording Artists of 2013 by t he International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), which represents the music business around the world.
The award measures success in downloading, streaming and physical sales of singles and albums.
The boy band's latest album, Midnight Memories, topped the US Billboard Top 200 chart making them the first group in history to debut at Number one with its first three albums.
The video for their single, Best Song Ever, attracted almost 200 million views on YouTube, and its follow-up, Story of My Life, recorded more than 100 million views.
Simon tweeted: "So One Direction were the biggest selling artists in 2013. I know how much they put into this record from start to finish.
"Very proud and I also want to thank the other writers, the producers, the team at Syco... their management and Sony worldwide.
"And I have said it before and will say it again...the greatest group of fans. Why can't there be an award for the best fans at the Grammys Or the Brits? It seems crazy they don't. Is there a reason?"
The X Factor boss, who has just flown into London from New York, added: "I was thinking on the flight how many great records there were last year. The music business feels exciting again. No rules."
Band member Niall Horan said it was "incredible news".
He said: "It's great to have a chart that includes everything from iTunes and record stores, to YouTube and Spotify. Again a huge thank you to all of our fans for such an amazing 2013."
The second and third spots on the chart went to US rapper Eminem and Justin Timberlake, with Bruno Mars and Katy Perry completing the top five.
Pink, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Rihanna, Michael Buble and Daft Punk rounded out the top 10.
IFPI chief executive Frances Moore said: "Many congratulations to One Direction who topped a talented field to become the IFPI Global Recording Artists of 2013.
"This is a global IFPI award for a new era of music consumption, based on a new metric of global success. Our chart for the first time measures the popularity of artists across the many different ways in which fans choose their music."