Column: European groups lead return of the ‘boy band’

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1:15 pm EDT, March 24, 2012

by MasonR

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If you were to look at the iTunes Top 10 right now, you would probably find two artists that you are unfamiliar with: The Wanted and One Direction. These two groups, both boy bands from Europe, are racing up the American music charts in their quest to make it big in the States. Both The Wanted and One Direction have had massive success in Europe. Now, they are helping bring the idea of the boy band back to the United States. Here is a look at the two bands that you will probably be seeing a lot of in the upcoming months!

Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson are members of One Direction. The band was formed for U.K.’s The X Factor after each of its member failed to qualify as solo artists. The group placed third in the competition and was signed to Simon Cowell’s record label, Syco Records. One Direction released their album, Up All Night , in November 2011, and it became the fastest-selling debut album of the year. Their fans call themselves “Directioners.” The group began their journey in the States after they signed with Columbia Records. They released their album in the States on March 13, 2012, and it has been at the top of the charts ever since. Up All Night reached number one on the Billboard Top 200 during its first week, the first time a U.K. group has reached number one with a debut album. Niall Horan had this to say about their success on the charts:

“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.”

On a recent trip to the Today Show, the Directioners caused all sorts of chaos when they took over the plaza where the group was performing. One Direction just announced that they will be going on tour in the United States. Other upcoming events for Directioners to look forward to are One Direction’s performance at the Kids Choice Awards, on Saturday Night Live, and on iCarly.

The Wanted is a band comprised of Siva Kaneswaran, Jay McGuiness, Tom Parker, Max George, and Nathan Sykes. The group was formed through an audition process and signed to Geffen Records. Their U.K. debut album, The Wanted , was released in 2010 and reached number four on the U.K. Albums Chart. Their second U.K. album, Battleground, brought on several singles that reached high positions on the charts. The Wanted were picked up by Scooter Braun in America and asked by Ellen Degeneres to appear on her show. After performing on The Ellen Degeneres Show, the band covered America on a tour, going to local radio stations and high schools, as well as performing on The Chelsea Lately Show and having their single “Glad You Came” covered by Glee. They also performed in venues across the country and all shows were sold out. “Glad You Came” helped them make history as the highest American Billboard chart entry by a British boy band. Since then, the band has completed an arena tour in Europe and is now back in the States. They performed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and at MTV’s Spring Break in Las Vegas. The group was the first artist to ever bring their fans on stage with them on Leno. Band member Nathan Sykes had this to say about their success:

“I think that we’re very fortunate in our position, and I think that a lot of people would give their right arm to be in the position we’re in at the moment. So we’re very lucky but we’re just gonna keep on working hard and see if we can expand on the success that we’ve had so far.”

Their fans, the TWFanmily, also have several other events to look forward to. The Wanted will be on Punk’d, The View, and The Today Show, and their U.S. album, The Wanted, will be released on April 24th.

Of course, there are other boy bands out there, but these two seem to be the most promising if you look solely at their prior achievements and their current U.S. chart positions. What do you think? Are you a fan of either band? Do you think you will be?

Follow One Direction on Twitter: @onedirection @NiallOfficial @Harry_Styles @zaynmalik @Real_Liam_Payne @Louis_Tomlinson

Follow The Wanted on Twitter: @thewantedmusic @SivaTheWanted @NathanTheWanted @MaxTheWanted @TomTheWanted @JayTheWanted

One Direction:

The Wanted:

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