One Direction is a boy band.
I was on YouTube today looking up a Saturday Night Live skit, when I saw to the right a list of other SNL skits, one including something called “One Direction.” I vaguely remember seeing this name in the news during the past few weeks, so I looked “One Direction” up on YouTube, and came upon the video I posted here, for their song “What Makes You Beautiful.” The very first thing I noticed was the view count: over 118 MILLION views. WHAT?!?! How did I not know this music group before today?
I’ll tell you why: I am not a teenage girl.
One Direction marks the return of the boy band.
Every ten to fifteen years or so, some music mogul assembles a group of four or five guys who are more known for their looks than their singing, and then markets them to teenage girls and their little sisters. Fandemonium ensues. From the Jackson 5 in the 1970s to the New Kids on the Block in the 1980s, and Backstreet Boys vs. ‘N Sync in the 1990s, boy bands have garnered millions of fans with their catchy songs, cool dance moves, and products like lunchboxes, posters, t-shirts, and stickers, which then end up in garage sales half a decade later when the little girls have moved on to other music and love interests.
So this “new” boy band, One Direction, has over 118 million YouTube views? Then they must be the “next big thing,” after Justin Bieber and the Jonas Brothers had their 15 minutes of fame. One Direction is a British-Irish group made up of oddly named thin and coiffed young men: Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson. They got put together thanks to spending time on Britain’s The X Factor, and sure enough, Simon Cowell (the music mogul) had a hand in springboarding their meteoric success.
The song “What Makes You Beautiful” went to #1 in the UK and did well in other countries, but the real test for success is this– how does the band do in America? The answer: their debut album, “Up All Night,” debuted at #1 in America! DEBUTED at #1. That’s rare for any artist– oh, the power of the boy band to get little girls to spend money, you know? One Direction is the first UK group in history to debut at number one in America with their first album– take that Beatles! (Ahem.)
If you’ve got a little girl in your life, chances are you can make her day by buying her a One Direction t-shirt or taking her to their concert. One Direction is, for the forseeable future, the “It” group hoardes of teenage girls will devote all their time, money and energy to. Until they grow older or another group comes along :).