One Direction’s anxiously awaited 10 year anniversary occurred on Jul. 23. The band formed in 2010 on the X-Factor, a popular British reality television show. The five boys — Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Zayn Malik, Niall Horan, and Liam Payne — auditioned individually, but Simon Cowell encouraged them to form One Direction. While the band only won third place on the show, Cowell decided to sign them to Syco Records, and One Direction went on to become one of the most successful boy bands in history. In 2015, Malik announced that he would be leaving the group in order to pursue other projects. Five months after Malik left, the remaining members decided to go on a hiatus that they said would last around 18 months, but five years later, the band is still on break. Since they went on hiatus, Styles, Payne, Tomlinson, and Horan have each released multiple solo albums and gone on tour. Due to COVID-19, Tomlinson and Styles postponed their tours to next year in order to protect their fans and staff.
Directioners eagerly waited to see what the band had in store for their 10th anniversary. Tomlinson, Styles, Horan, and Payne made heartfelt posts on Instagram and Twitter expressing their gratitude to their fans and team. Styles reminisced, tweeting, “I’ve been struggling to put into words how grateful I am for everything that’s happened over the last ten years, I’ve seen things and places that I’d only ever dreamt of when I was growing up,” alongside a sweet photo of the boys hugging. Styles’ tweet reached one million likes in under an hour, breaking a new record on Twitter.
In addition to the personal messages, One Direction put together an interactive website for their fans. This website shows off pictures, videos, artwork, and audio from the band’s time together. After going through the special website, fans can save their personalized mixtape filled with One Direction music to their Apple Music or Spotify account.
On their YouTube, the band dropped a short video reminiscing on the past ten years. They also released four new EPs featuring remixes, rarities, as well as acoustic and live versions of their songs. In addition, the boys released three studio versions of old songs: Irresistible, Magic, and Truly Madly Deeply. The boys also released 4K versions of old music videos throughout the week. Twitter also featured the hashtags #10YearsOf1D, #18MonthsMyAss, and #10YearsOfOneDirection, in addition to a special emoji for the occasion.
The fans were ecstatic with all of the One Direction content that they got, and while they did not get the reunion or Infinity music video they were hoping for, they got to celebrate together. The official One Direction Twitter account ended the festivities by tweeting, “So many memories <3Thanks for celebrating with us! Directioners forever #10YearsOf1D.”