Like it or not, X Factor UK product One Direction is looking more and more like this century’s Beatles every day. They’ve just recently hit the 12 million sale mark worldwide, and they’ve only released one album.
Up All Night, their debut, has sold 3 million copies worldwide, bolstering their 8 million singles sales and million DVD sales.
They’re also the first UK band to ever debut at number one on the U.S. charts with their first album. They’re in the company of only two American artists who’ve done the same—DMX and Britney Spears.
They formed just two years ago, during a season of X Factor where they finished third as a group. Since then they've spawned rabid groups of fans and have picked up prestigious performances at the VMAs and Madison Square Garden.
It all echoes the boy bands of yore—Backstreet Boys, N*SYNC, New Kids on the Block—who built their empires on millions of screaming pre-teens. And as long as there are these super groups, there will be vicious arguments between said screaming pre-teens and the people who can no longer stand to listen to boy band pop for long: vocally talented as they may be, they’re very often reeeeally carefully trained and constructed by a large team of experts. But no matter how you feel about it, it sells better than basically anything else, ever, because 11-17 year old girls are quickly becoming the musical tastemakers of the country.