"Certainly I've had a lot of luck to be in the place I am now, but at the end of the day I worked really, really hard, so regardless of whether or not haters think I'm good enough, I am here for a reason," says Louis Tomlinson.
Unlike the rest of the One Direction, the singer had already had a small taste of fame before his life changed forever on The X Factor
. But nothing could have prepared him for the band's meteoric rise.
Louis was born on Christmas Eve, 1991 in Doncaster, South Yorkshire to Johanna and Troy Austin. His parents split up when he was young, and Louis went on to take his stepfather Mark Tomlinson's surname.
He has five younger sisters, one on his father's side, Georgia, and four on his mother's, Charlotte, Félicité and twins Daisy and Phoebe.
When he was 11, Louis appeared as an extra on ITV drama Fat Friends
, alongside his newborn twin sisters.
Bitten by the acting bug, he then started to attend acting school in his spare time and went on to secure small parts in BBC's Waterloo Road
and 2006 TV movie If I Had You
He also took the lead role of Danny Zucco in a high-school production of Grease
, which he says gave him the confidence to audition for the The X Factor
Louis – who has had a number of part-time jobs, including working as a hospitality waiter at Doncaster Rovers Football Club – impressed the judges with his rendition of Hey There Delilah
by the Plain White T's. Simon Cowell
, Nicole Scherzinger
and Louis Walsh
all decided to send him through the next round.
He then sang Adele's hit Make You Feel My Love
but failed to progress any further. Louis' X Factor
dream seemed over – until guest judge Nicole stepped in.
At her suggestion, he was invited back to form a band with four other 'rejects', Harry Styles
, Niall Horan
, Liam Payne
and Zayn Malik
Two weeks after they were put together, the boys performed their first song as a group – an acoustic version of Torn
– for their mentor Simon. The public loved them, and One Direction went on to finish the competition in third place.
Immediately afterwards, they signed up to Simon's Syco record label. In September 2011, they released their debut single, What Makes You Beautiful
, which entered the UK charts at number one.
Their first album, Up All Night
, was released at the start of 2012. It became the UK's fastest-selling debut album and went to No.1 in 16 countries – including America. The boys had set a new record, as the first British group in US chart history to enter at No.1 with a debut album.
Since then the pop pin-ups have picked up numerous awards and embarked on two major tours.
One Direction have also performed at the Summer Olympics closing ceremony in London, sung for the Queen at the 2012 Royal Variety Performance gala and headlined a sold-out show in New York's Madison Square Garden.
As a member of the world's biggest boy band, Louis is the subject of great interest when it comes to his love life.
He has been dating student Eleanor Calder since bandmate Harry set them up on a date – Harry became friends with her during his time working in a bakery. And he is clearly smitten.
"I'm not the type of guy who enjoys being single. I told her I loved her after five months," he told Seventeen
. "I didn't just wake up one day and think I was in love – I knew it in my heart."
He has also spoken out about the importance he places on showing respect in a relationship.
"It's important for me to treat a girlfriend with respect. My mum would be horrified if I behaved any differently – and I have sisters and would hate for them to be treated badly by guys," he has said.