The One Direction lads may be enjoying some well-deserved time off, but that doesn’t mean we’ll let their sixth anniversary go by unnoticed. We took a look back on everything that has happened in those six years and created a list of 20 key moments in One Direction’s impressive career. Some of these moments are particularly important to the fans, some are acknowledgements of the band’s success and some just made us smile so wide our faces almost ripped in half. Because when 1D is happy, we are happy.
1. Their first performance as One Direction
Obviously. ‘Torn’ was where it all began, and we would be lying if we said we don’t watch this performance once a month (or, you know, once a week, maybe).
2. The release of ‘What Makes You Beautiful’
Released in August 2011, One Direction’s first single has now reached quadruple platinum status in the United States and the accompanying music video has been watched a staggering 780 million times.
3. The release of Up All Night
Maybe even more important than the release of One Direction’s first single was that of their first studio album – if Up All Night hadn’t turned into the UK’s fastest-selling debut album of 2011, who knows what would’ve happened? We’d rather not think about that.
4. The Up All Night Tour
We’ve written about our favourite things from the Up All Night Tour here, but honestly, do we need to explain ourselves? One Direction’s first headline tour will always hold a special place in our heart.
5. Their first BRIT award
Over the past six years, One Direction has won an astonishing number of awards – if we’ve been counting correctly, they’re at 242 wins and 366 nominations by now. It’s hard to pick a favourite win, but their first BRIT award (2012, British single of the year) might be our most cherished one.
6. Their US television debut on the Today show
While we, of course, had no doubt that One Direction would make it big worldwide, their first performance on American tv was a major step in building their international career.
7. Their performance at the 2012 Olympics closing ceremony
Because when you get to perform at the Olympics, you know you made it.
8. Madison Square Garden
Selling out the world’s most prestigious arena when you’re barely 2.5 years underway is quite impressive – impressive enough to get the date tattooed even, if you’re Zayn Malik.
9. Their trip to Ghana
Early in 2013, One Direction partnered with Comic Relief and that collaboration included a trip to Ghana. It seems that the trip itself had as much impact on them as the videos had on their fans – together with their ever so charitable fanbase, the band raised over 2 million pounds for Comic Relief in 2013 alone.
10. The Take Me Home Tour
Following the release of their second studio album, One Direction went on an impressive tour consisting of more than 120 shows – including no less than six performances at London’s O2 Arena.
11. The premiere of This Is Us
The This Is Us premiere in London was another one of those iconic moments for 1D fans worldwide, including all things a true fan secretly loves: frantically refreshing social media looking for pics, incoherently messaging fellow fans, and desperately trying to find a working livestream.
12. 1D Day
Whether the 1D lads really enjoyed that nearly eight-hour livestream is something we slightly doubt, but it was definitely an iconic day for the One Direction fandom.
13. The Where We Are Tour
With 69 shows all over the world, grossing 290 million dollars and being the 12th highest grossing concert tour of all times, we don’t really have to explain why the Where We Are Tour is on this list, do we?
14. When Zayn left
The past six years weren’t all sunshine and butterflies and one date that any One Direction fan will never be able to forget is the 25th of March 2015 – the day it was announced that Zayn Malik had left One Direction.
15. Project No Control
One of the million ways in which One Direction fans have shown their dedication over the past six years was project No Control. Deciding that the song deserved more recognition, the 1D fandom set to work and got the song to be played on radio stations all over the world and added to the setlist. And not too long ago, they did it all over again for ‘Home’. Quite impressive.
16. The On The Road Again Tour
Consisting of 80 shows worldwide, lasting from February til October and dealing with the departure of Zayn for the whole world to see, the On The Road Again Tour was a massive part of One Direction’s 2015.
17. When they were at the Late Late Show with James Corden
One of our favourite tv appearances of 1D ever. Not only because we love every single interview the band has ever done with James Corden, but also because it was their first television interview after Zayn’s departure and therefore an important moment both for fans and for the 1D lads themselves.
18. The release of ‘Drag Me Down’
Casually dropping their first single as a foursome without any promo or announcement whatsoever, One Direction proved they were here to stay with ‘Drag Me Down’ when the song debuted at number one.
19. Their first Live Lounge
It took quite some time for the One Direction lads to find their way to BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge, but when they finally did, they didn’t disappoint. And while that ‘FourFiveSeconds’ cover was really well done, what made 1D’s Live Lounge even more wonderful was their rendition of ‘Torn’, over five years after performing the song together for the first time.
20. The release of Made In The AM
And we’re not just talking about the actual release of the album – though we absolutely love it from start to finish – but the entire promo cycle that came with it. With the band’s hiatus coming closer every day, seeing how much Louis, Liam, Niall and Harry still loved each other and enjoyed being a part of One Direction was immeasurably reassuring.
And there you have it. We could’ve easily gone on for weeks, but we managed to narrow it down to 20 moments. Obviously we missed some major ones – what is your favourite moment that isn’t on this list? Let us know on Twitter over at @CelebMix and @CelebMix1D!