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One Direction named IFPI's No. 1 global recording artist of 2013

One Direction, pictured from left to right: Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Niall Horan
One Direction, pictured from left to right: Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Niall Horan

One Direction is the world's biggest selling act to come from "The X Factor." And now, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) has declared that One Direction was the No.1 global recording artist of 2013. IFPI made the announcement on Jan. 30, 2014.

According to an IFPI press release, IFPI counted "music downloads, streaming and physical format sales" to determine the rankings. The data included "sales of albums across digital, CD and vinyl formats; singles, both downloaded and physical; on-demand streams and music videos. The chart includes all the music of each artist featured, not just one track or album. It uses track and album equivalents to combine measurements of downloads, physical sales and streams."

One Direction came in third place on "The X Factor" U.K. in 2010. The group's five members (Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson) originally auditioned for "The X Factor" as solo singers, but they were rejected as solo singers and put together in a group by "The X Factor" creator/executive producer Simon Cowell and other " X Factor" decision makers.

Cowell, who was One Direction's "X Factor" mentor in 2010, signed the group to his Syco Music company, which Cowell co-owns with Sony Music. In addition to having No. 1 hits in several countries, One Direction has also had numerous sold-out concerts around the world.

One Direction's Horan commented in an IFPI press release: "Incredible news! It's great to have a chart that includes everything from iTunes and record stores, to YouTube and Spotify. Again a huge thank you to all of our fans for such an amazing 2013."

IFPI chief executive Frances Moore added: "Many congratulations to One Direction who topped a talented field to become the IFPI Global Recording Artists of 2013. This is a global IFPI award for a new era of music consumption, based on a new metric of global success. Our chart for the first time measures the popularity of artists across the many different ways in which fans choose their music."

Cowell tweeted: “So One Direction were the biggest selling artists in 2013. I know how much they put into this record from start to finish. Very proud. And I also want to thank the other writers the producers the team at Syco, Modest their management and Sony worldwide. And I have said it before and will say it again…the greatest group of fans. Why can’t there be an award for the best fans at the Grammy's. Or the Brits? It seems crazy they don’t. Is there a reason?”

One Direction's third album, "Midnight Memories" (released on Nov. 25, 2013), has spawned multiple hit singles, including "Best Song Ever" and "Story of My Life." One Direction was also on the charts in 2013 with the group's first album ("Up All Night") and second album ("Take Me Home"). One Direction's fourth album is being planned for release in late 2014. The album's titles, songs and release date are to be announced.

Here are IFPI's Top 10 global recording artists of 2013:

  1. One Direction
  2. Eminem
  3. Justin Timberlake
  4. Bruno Mars
  5. Katy Perry
  6. Pink
  7. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
  8. Rihanna
  9. Michael Bublé
  10. Daft Punk
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