Kids of the 80s swooned over New Kids on the Block and Menudo. Their 90s counterparts worshipped at the altar of Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC. Those who grew up in the early 2000s had O-Town and Blue. And the tweens and teens of 2012? They have four English lads and one Irish cutie to obsess over: Harry, Niall, Liam, Louis, and Zayn, collectively known as One Direction.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, we’re sure you’ve heard of One Direction. In the hierarchy of 21st century boy bands, the group reigns supreme. Got daughters and nieces? Then we’re sure you’ve witnessed the level of fandom the group can create. One Direction is everywhere, and like it or not, there’s no escaping the hysteria. Call it the One Direction Infection—though this may be something the legion of fans wouldn’t want to find a cure for.
Whether you’re genuinely interested in the band or just want to understand what your daughter’s obsession is all about, here’s a quick guide to the British boy band that's taking the world by storm.
(Photos courtesy of Syco Records unless otherwise stated.)