From topping the US charts with all three of their albums, a feat achieved by no other British band in the history of music, to selling more than 30m records to date, One Direction are an unstoppable force of perfectly coiffed pop music round the globe.
In statistics released on Friday, One Direction were named as Britain's most triumphant musical export of 2013 and their global success ensured that British artists have now accounted for the top-selling global album in six of the last seven years. Their success led a year in which one in every eight albums sold in 2013 was by a British artist, a slight dip on previous years.
The band's latest album, Midnight Memories, released in November 2013, sold 4m copies around the world in just six weeks – more than any other British artist last year – according to the BPI, the trade body for the music industry.
It follows a triumphant year for the group, who were created by music mogul Simon Cowell on The X Factor in 2010, as it is estimated they will earn a record £611m during their first world stadium tour, Where We Are, which kicked off in April.
With a musical empire that has expanded to encompass a cinema documentary, several DVDs and an expanse of merchandise, the band have now accumulated a joint wealth of around £70m, making them the richest boyband in musical history – before any of them turn 23 years old.
Their dominance of the international music charts could also be set to continue. The group- consisting of Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson- have already begun work on their fourth album, which may see them move even further away from the saccharine pop sounds of their first two records. Irish rock group Kodaline and Manchester Indie band The 1975 have both confirmed they have recently been in the studio with One Direction.
For Ed Drewett, who wrote three songs on the band's last album and is in talks to collaborate on their next record, this progression towards a more mature sound for the band will be the key to ensuring the One Direction global bubble does not burst.
He told the Guardian "The idea of them collaborating with bands like The 1975 and Kodaline is something we started pioneering with the last album, which had a much rockier sound- less cheesy pop and more artist defining. So it's great to see them working with the likes of Kodaline and 1975 because that's where their sound is progressing to. As long as they keep writing with people like that, they've got some incredible albums in their future."
The BPI figures also revealed that UK acts took 13% of worldwide music sales, while at home eight of the top 10 bestselling artists in the UK charts last year were British and the share accrued by US artists in the UK charts fell to 33.8 per cent.
The news follows the recent success of Brits in the US, with Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith taking the top two spots in the US chart, a feat not achieved since Eric Clapton and Sting did it more than two decades ago.
Gennaro Castaldo, a spokesman for the BPI said: "For homegrown talent to have recorded the world's biggest-selling album six out of the last seven years is a phenomenal achievement that says a great deal about the popularity of British music around the world, especially taking into account the fact that one in every eight albums sold globally are by UK artists."
In recent years, the UK has had a run of global bestsellers, with Amy Winehouse topping the list in 2007 with Back to Black, Coldplay in 2008 with Viva La Vida, Susan Boyle in 2009 and Adele in 2011 and 2012. In fact, the only other artist to beat the Brits to the top spot in the past seven years has been Eminem with his 2010 album Recovery.
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