One Direction-1563880052809
File photo of One Direction Image Credit: WireImage

#9YearOfOneDirection has topped Twitter’s trending hashtags on July 23 as fans celebrate the nine-year anniversary of the boy band, which formed as a five-piece group on the ‘X Factor’ in 2010.

Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, Niall Horan and Zayn Malik initially auditioned as solo contestants on the seventh season of the X Factor UK. However, when they failed to move forward in the Boys category, they were put together in a band on July 23, 2010 by judge Simon Cowell. Nicole Scherzinger, a guest judge, has also taken partial credit for putting the five teens together.

Styles has since said he chose the name One Direction because it “sounded good”. The group finished third on the show but soon after, they signed a reported £2 million (Dh9.16 million) contract with Cowell’s label, Syco Records, and shot to cross-continental fame.

As a fivesome, the group released four albums together: ‘Up All Night’ (2011), ‘Take Me Home’ (2012), ‘Midnight Memories’ (2013) and ‘Four’ (2014).

They subsequently became the first band to debut at number one with their first four albums on the Billboard 200 charts.

Malik departed from the band in March of 2015. The four remaining members released a final album, ‘Made in the AM’, before announcing that they would go on hiatus.

Since then, Malik has released two albums (‘Mind of Mine’, ‘Icarus Falls’), Styles and Horan have released a debut solo album each (‘Harry Styles’ and ‘Flicker’, respectively) and Payne and Tomlinson have released a series of singles.

In a 2019 interview with ODE Entertainment, Tomlinson said an eventual One Direction reunion would be “inevitable”.

Adding his voice to the hashtag, Tomlinson tweeted on Tuesday: “So many incredible memories. Days like today are days for reflection, so proud looking back! Thank you for ALWAYS having our backs! Big love to the lads! #9YearOfOneDirection”