One Direction’s legacy continues strong after a decade of music


Eva Rinaldi

Ten years ago, a modern musical miracle happened. Its occurrence came as a surprise, but in no way was it a regret. It revolutionized lives, touched millions, broke unbreakable records. What was it, you may ask? Oh, just a little band called One Direction.


Now, a decade later, the band, more commonly known as 1D, is just as big a sensation as when they first appeared on the X-Factor. First emerging as solo artists, Judge Simon Cowell decided the five members (Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Louis Tomilson, Niall Horan, and Zayn Malik) would be better as a group — it played out to be an incredible move. However, in 2016, six years after the band’s beginnings, the group decided to go on hiatus, one year after Malik decided to leave the band.


One Direction has left a lasting legacy on music — they were the biggest boyband of our time, surpassing six Guinness World Records and climbing above the bar set by The Beatles, amongst some of their accomplishments.


From becoming the first U.K. group to debut at No. 1 in the U.S. with their debut album, to having hit song “Drag me Down” become the first VEVO video to get 1 million streams in 24 hours in 2015, to the first U.K. group to debut at No. 1 in U.S. with their debut album, One Direction’s international reach gave them many firsts. 


On top of this, they, like The Beatles, had 3 members (Styles, Horan and Zayn) get their solo albums as No. 1 on Billboard 200 and even beat the former band, getting the most number of Top 10 Hot 100 debut songs by a group.


After winning the 2013 VMAs for their song “Best Song Ever,” to meeting English royalty, and releasing their emotional documentary “This Is Us,” one would assume the band’s reach would stop there, right?


Quite wrong, actually.


Because 1D had such a large, diverse fan base from all across the world, their messages were widespread. Any charity or cause the band supported was watched upon by millions.


They supported movements like Black Lives Matter and #MeToo, raised over 200 euros for the Red Nose Day charity, and fought for LGBTQ+ rights, amongst other things. The social impact One Direction had was just as essential as the musical impact. 


In 2016, the boys moved on from the band, pursuing solo careers, each with varying degrees of success. 


Styles, Horan and Malik each have released two albums, Tomilson with one album, and Payne has one album and one EP under his belt.


It’s been a long time since 2010, but One Direction is not likely to fade away any time soon. No one knows what the future of the band will look like, but a 10-year reunion has been hinted at by the band members.