Conquering America: One Direction make history as they top US album charts
21 MARCH 2012
They have succeeded where the likes of Take That and Westlife – and even the Beatles – failed.
Boy band One Direction have become the first UK act to enter the US charts at number one with their debut album.
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Former X Factor contestants Louis Tomlinson, 20, Zayn Malik, 19, Harry Styles, Niall Horan and Liam Payne, all 18, sold over 176,00 copies of Up All Night to take the top spot.
Niall - who fans call Nialler – said: "When we got put together as a group, we couldn't imagine ourselves coming to America, let alone releasing our album here, so for us to be sitting at the top of the US album charts is unbelievable.
"We are so grateful to everyone who has supported us in the US."
The boys have been a smash hit across the Pond, where they are currently on a promotional tour, causing pandemonium wherever they go.
One of the highlights has been performing at New York's Rockefeller Center for America's biggest breakfast TV programme The Today Show (pictured).
Thousands of excited fans screamed and took pictures as the boys performed, and millions more watched at home.
As well as doing a ten-date tour, the group has been signed up by broadcaster Nickelodeon to do a show – a sure sign their presence in the States will be further increased.
So why are American teens making space on their bedroom walls amongst the Justin Bieber posters for 1D?
According to one fan, Sydney Durfee – 15, from Boston – "One Direction are so different from American bands. They are polite. And I love their accents."
Her friend, Jillian Chrisom – also 15 – adds: "I love their hair. They have voices like angels, even though they are just ordinary boys."
The youngster also told The Daily Mail she loves all things English, including "those big red buses you guys have and also Adele".
The handsome bunch have also caught the eye of one high profile American teen.
Katherine Schwarzenegger, daughter of Hollywood star-turned politician Arnold, tweeted that she thought Harry was "cute", then blagged her way onto the set of popular Nickelodeon show iCarly to see him in action.
Harry was a bit daunted. 'Katherine's been in the studio watching us. Imagine having Arnie as your dad-in-law,' he said.
The new generation moptops have come a long way since they were placed third on The X Factor in 2010.
Back then, they were put together by the judges after failing to make it through the audition rounds as soloists.
Not that you would know that now to look at them. On stage they are perfectly in sync, as if they have been performing for years.
And it's not just their looks and cheeky charm which has won over the 'Directioners', as their fans are called. Their music speaks perfectly to young hearts.
"What makes you beautiful," they sing, "is that you don’t know you are beautiful."