Story Of Their Lives: One Direction's stratospheric success story from X Factor hopefuls to global pop phenomenon

It's been five years since One Direction were formed by Simon Cowell on the 2010 series of The X Factor.

Five Brit Awards, four MTV Video Music Awards, over three billion YouTube views, 50 million records sold worldwide and an estimated $130million fortune later, and it looks like the beginning of the end for the Brit boyband.

It was reported on Sunday that the group- comprised of Niall Horan, Harry Styles, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson - have decided to take time away from the band to focus on solo projects and will not tour their upcoming fifth album.

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The end of the road? One Direction will reportedly take an extended hiatus next year after five years as a band

The end of the road? One Direction will reportedly take an extended hiatus next year after five years as a band

A source has told The Sun newspaper's Dan Wootton: 'The guys have been together for five years, which is an incredible run for any boyband.

'They fully deserve to have at least a year to work on their own projects. There is absolutely no bad blood between them and they are all 100 per cent behind the decision.'

According to the paper the group made the decision during crunch talks in London last weekend and their final show will be at Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield on October 31 before they take a break from March.

How it all began: One Direction found fame on the UK X Factor in 2010 when Simon Cowell put the five solo singers together to form a boyband 

How it all began: One Direction found fame on the UK X Factor in 2010 when Simon Cowell put the five solo singers together to form a boyband 

The news has come as a shock to many of the band's dedicated fans, who are still reeling from Zayn Malik's departure from the group five months ago.

But when the five members auditioned for Cowell's X Factor in the summer of 2010, no one could have predicted how much they would achieve in just five years. 

That summer saw the five boys audition as soloists for the seventh series of the talent show, only to be eliminated before the final round of the competition.

All the way to the final: The group quickly bonded and won over fans and the judges alike to make it all the way to the final 

All the way to the final: The group quickly bonded and won over fans and the judges alike to make it all the way to the final 

Popstars! The group celebrated the launch of their debut single What Makes You Beautiful in September 2011 

Popstars! The group celebrated the launch of their debut single What Makes You Beautiful in September 2011 

Cowell and guest judge Nicole Scherzinger spotted potential though and put them together to form a new boy band, the first time a group had been formed by the judges on the ITV show.

The magic was instant. After just a few weeks of getting to know each other and non-stop rehearsing, the group impressed Simon at their Judge's Houses audition and sailed through to the live shows. The pop Svengali later admitted to Rolling Stone that it took him 'about a millionth of a second' to spot the group's worldwide potential.

The fan reaction was instant too, with 1D hysteria soon dwarfing the show. Despite the adoration, the band ultimately finished in third place on the X Factor but shortly afterwards Cowell sealed their fate by signing the fivesome to a reported £2million Syco contract.

Devoted: From the very beginning, the band have been followed by a huge and dedicated fandom 

Devoted: From the very beginning, the band have been followed by a huge and dedicated fandom 

Keen to capitalise on the boys' already devoted fanbase, Cowell moved quickly with recording for the band's debut album beginning in January 2011.

By September of that year One Direction's first single was released with What Makes You Beautiful soaring to number one on the UK Singles Chart, after becoming the most pre-ordered Sony Music Entertainment single in history. 

Their debut album, Up All Night was also a best seller, becoming the UK's fastest-selling debut album of 2011, with the record leading to their first tour which kicked off in the UK that December.

Globe-trotters: The group embarked on their first tour a year after forming and have barely stopped travelling the world since

Globe-trotters: The group embarked on their first tour a year after forming and have barely stopped travelling the world since

Around the same time the band signed a record deal with Columbia Records in North America and in February 2012 they were off to the US, embarking on their first Stateside concert tour as an opening act for Big Time Rush.

Their first U.S. television appearance on The Today Show showed just what a phenomenon the band had become with 15,000 fans descending on Rockefeller Center.

One Direction's second studio album, Take Me Home was released on November 2012, selling 540,000 copies in its first week in the US alone while it topped the charts in more than thirty-four other countries

Pop phenomenan: The group have amassed an estimated $130million fortune in just five years

Pop phenomenan: The group have amassed an estimated $130million fortune in just five years

Directioners in meltdown: Devastated 1D fans react to the news that their favourite boyband is splitting for at least a year 

Devastated: Die-hard fans, who have backed 1D since their X Factor days, are finding the news hard to take 

Devastated: Die-hard fans, who have backed 1D since their X Factor days, are finding the news hard to take 

It's been a tumultuous year for One Direction and their fans.

And on Sunday diehard Directioners were dealt another blow following the report that the world famous boyband will 'disband' in March 2016 after the release of their fifth album.

With the news coming just five months after Zayn Malik quit the chart-topping group and the shock announcement that Louis Tomlinson will become a father next year, fans have been working through their emotions on social media.

Directioners flooded Twitter in the minutes after the news broke, with many pointing to the never-ending drama that has engulfed the band recently.

'WE NEED OUR OWN SHOW CALLED "KEEPING UP WITH THE DIRECTIONERS" BC WE GO THROUGH MORE DRAMA THAN KARDASHIANS TBH,' one fan Twitter account posted.

'I come online on twitter and the first thing I see is rumours about 1d splitting up. DOES THE DRAMA EVER END?!?!?!,' read another tweet.

Others pointed to the timing of the rumoured split, which if true, would come exactly one year after Zayn quit the band this Spring.

@fondlwt predicted: 'zayn leaves March 2016: 1D take a break March 2017: An apocalypse breaks out.'

@HoranFarmPotato was equally devastated: 'Zayn left 1D in March, The sun claims that they are breaking up in March. WTF MY BIRTHDAY IS IN MARCH CAN I AT LEAST LIVE FOR ONCE????' read their tweet.

Will they be back? Some fans are not so sure

Will they be back? Some fans are not so sure

Even celebs seemed shocked by the news with Professor Green quipping: 'so there wasn't only one direction after all,' while Radio 1 DJ Greg James was worried he'd be called back to work over the pop emergency: 'You know when something big happens and David Cameron comes back from holiday...is it the same for R1 DJs if 1D split up? If so...annoyed,' he joked.

Older music fans offered Directioners support as they reminisced about previous boyband splits, with @RhianS tweeting: 'I remember when Robbie left Take That and then they split the year after....I feel your pain Directioners #historyrepeating #1Dsplit.'

Many fans were simply inconsolable though. 'it's the end of an era i can't remember a day of this last 5 years that i havent listened to a song or watched a video by 1D,' tweeted one.

While others were convinced that this isn't the end, and as the rumours suggest, the band will simply be taking a break before reuniting.

One diehard fan pointed out: '1D is The Rolling Stones of this era, they will not end this, there will be a few breaks like ANY OTHER ARTISTS.'

The Official Charts Company revealed that the band had sold an astonishing 2,425,000 records in the UK by February 2013, the same month that they embarked on their second concert tour.

Even bigger than their debut, the Take Me Home Tour saw the fivesome perform over 100 shows globally, including a six-date sell-out at London's The O2 Arena.

With Cowell keen to keep the momentum up, November 2013 saw the band move into movies, with One Direction: This Is Us, a 3D documentary and concert film directed by Morgan Spurlock released worldwide, while their third album Midnight Memories was released in the same month.

The premiere of This Is Us in London attracted even more attention after it was revealed Zayn had proposed to long-time girlfriend Perrie Edwards, with the Little Mix star flashing a huge diamond on the red carpet and sparking what seemed like a perfect pop pairing.

Shock departure: In March 2015 Zayn Malik announced he was leaving the band after jetting home from their tour to save his relationship with fiancee Perrie Edwards

Shock departure: In March 2015 Zayn Malik announced he was leaving the band after jetting home from their tour to save his relationship with fiancee Perrie Edwards

By May 2014 the boyband backlash had kicked in though when video footage emerged showing Zayn and Louis apparently sharing a roll-up 'joint' during the Latin America leg of their 2014 Where We Are stadium tour.

What's next for One Direction as Harry, Niall, Louis and Liam go in different directions? 

Liam Payne, 21, wants to spend more time with his girlfriend Sophia Smith and his family.

And professionally, he is hoping to write music for other artists and launching a DJ career.

Harry Styles, 21, has been tipped for solo stardom and The Sun reports that Sony are keen to make him an offer.

However, Harry could turn his back on music for a career in Hollywood and hotshot producer Harvey Weinstein is keen to turn him into a star. 

Louis Tomlinson, 23, has plenty going on in his personal life and is set to become a dad in the near future following a fling with his friend Briana Jungwirth.

It was also reported earlier this year that he had taken on a role with Sony's 'Be in the Band' search, which aims to find talented female musicians to form a girl group.

Additionally, he has been tipped as a future X Factor judge, returning to the show that made him famous.

Niall Horan, 21, is also reportedly interested in launching a solo career, recently writing with pop pal Justin Bieber.

Despite the non-stop touring, the band found time to record their fourth studio album, aptly titled Four, which again topped the Billboard 200 and the UK Album Chart.

Despite their continued commercial success, cracks were beginning to show when Zayn found himself at the centre of a row when he failed to join his bandmates in the US to promote the album, prompting Today show's Matt Lauer to ask if it was related to drugs.

Just months later, and the shock announcement came that Zayn had quit the group's On The Road Again tour, flying home from Thailand for 'crisis' talks with fiancee Perrie after being spotted with blonde Lauren Richardson during a wild night out with Louis.

Days later it was confirmed that Zayn had quit the band. The remaining four were quick to reassure fans though that they would continue, and true to their word the first single from their fifth studio album was released in July, with Drag Me Down debuting at number one on iTunes in 86 countries.

More personal drama hit the band this summer though when Louis, 23, confirmed he is to become a dad early in 2016 following a fling with stylist Briana Jungwirth. 

Just two days after the band dropped their new video for Drag Me Down this month, it is revealed that they are set to take an extended hiatus of at least a year from March 2016, leading to speculation that Cowell's lucrative boyband bubble has burst.

In fact the signs seemed to be there with Liam hinting that the hard-working band needed some time off to simply take stock during an interview with Free radio this month: 'You know, I think everyone needs a little bit of a break now, and a sit down and a stop, to kind of take in all the great things that've happened,' he explained of their five years as pop's biggest phenomenon. 

And then there were four: The group were quick to reassure fans they would be continuing as a four piece, with their fifth album set to be released this year

And then there were four: The group were quick to reassure fans they would be continuing as a four piece, with their fifth album set to be released this year

New release: The band only released the video for Drag Me Down on Friday and two days later the split was revealed 

The end: The news of 1D's hiatus broke just two days after their debuted their new video for Drag Me Down

What drama? While fans were going into meltdown, Niall Horan posted a picture of himself playing golf 

What drama? While fans were going into meltdown, Niall Horan posted a picture of himself playing golf 

 

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