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OPINION: One Direction: Where we are now

Annemarie Karabinus
Young Annemarie Karabinus attending the One Direction Where We Are tour, Aug 2013

Harry. Liam. Niall. Louis. Zayn. You know them as One Direction (1D), but how well do you REALLY know them? Today I’m going to be talking about some history, fun facts and my personal love for 1D in honor of their albums “Up All Night,” released Nov. 18, 2011, “Take Me Home,” released Nov. 9th, 2012, “Midnight Memories,” released Nov. 25, 2013, “Four,” released Nov. 17, 2014 and last but not least, “Made In The A.M.,” released Nov. 13, 2015. That’s a LOT of anniversaries! 

Now, I’ve been a fan of One Direction since I was 12-years-old. I saw them in concert TWICE! Once for the Where We Are Tour, and once for On the Road Again in 2014 and 2015 respectively. I saw them in Philadelphia first. My mom got the tickets for her and I and she turned it into a nice family vacation. It was supposed to be a “once in a lifetime” thing, seeing my favorite band live. Well, the boys had other plans. They came to Cleveland the next year, so I got to see them again. In Philly, 5 Seconds of Summer (5SOS) was opening and Zayn was still with the band. In Cleveland, it was after the “incident.” Fun fact, Zayn left the band March 23 of 2015. I cried for 3 hours that day. I’ve definitely done some growing up since then. 

I still adore 1D, and I feel I always will. I have so many memories because of them, like watching them for the Olympics on the TV, sitting in my room with five devices looping the “Steal My Girl” music video trying to break the record, collecting copious amounts of merch and still wanting more (one day I will get that One Direction record player) or watching the video diaries from their X Factor days. To put things in perspective on how much they changed my life, I’m going to make a little list. 

Listening to their music helped me when I was depressed. I bonded with my best friend through their music and I got closer to another one of my friends I met at Lakeland from talking about them and their solo work. Whenever we talk about any members on TV2’s The Blurb, I am always able to add to the conversation. I used to make lyric drawings to their songs and that led me to figuring out I love to write and create art. I saw the “This is Us” movie in theaters with my granny who passed away in 2016, so that’s a memory I will always hold dear, and so so many more. 

I bet if I walked into a crowded room and started playing “No Control,” several heads would perk up and start singing along. One of my favorite memories was when I was home alone, watching compilation videos of the boys’ auditions and crying because of how proud of them I was. My dad then came home, saw me crying and asked what was wrong. 

“Nothing, I’m just watching some sad videos.” He then tells me to turn them off and grabs me a bowl of my favorite chips and a glass of Dr. Pepper in my Harry Styles cup. I had cups of all of them, including one of all five of them, but Harry was my favorite. We now use the one of all five to give my baby sister a bath. Funny how that came full circle, isn’t it?

Now, according to the official One Direction fandom wiki, they were nominated for 366 awards and won 242 of those. AMAs, Brit Awards, MTV Music, you name it! They were never nominated for a Grammy, much to my anger (and probably your surprise, though this has been living in my brain rent-free since I was 12). They have several books out and two movies. They also performed at the 2012 Olympics closing ceremony. In 2016, they broke six Guinness World Records, being the first group to debut at No. 1 with their first four albums in the U.S. They also broke the record for the first U.K. group to debut at No. 1 in U.S. with debut album, highest debut by a U.K. group on the U.S. singles chart at No. 3 with “Live While We’re Young,” most popular dance game track for their “What Makes You Beautiful” routine on Just Dance 4, which garnered 36,817,975 views, most followers on Twitter for a music group: 23,393,106 and most subscribers for a band on YouTube: 36,817,975 views.

This was back in 2016 and some of these records have been broken since, but it is so amazing to me that this band that got third place on the X Factor UK has done so much. They helped raise money for charity via Red Nose Day and the Band-Aid reunion, and some members have even done solo charity work. Harry Styles is now a Grammy winner and an actor, Niall is a judge on The Voice, Louis is on tour and just released his own documentary titled “All of These Voices” while also being a dad. Liam and Zayn are also parents. Zayn just started a business venture with Mixoloshe, and Liam has recently gotten engaged. The boys are all doing great in their own right, but hopefully they “Don’t Forget Where [They] Belong” (favorite song) and make tons of “Midnight Memories.” Please don’t “Drag Me Down” for all these puns, I simply have “No Control.” Alright, alright. I’m done. Thank you, Harry Styles, Zayn Malik, Niall Horan, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson for being such a defining force in my life. I can’t wait to see what you guys cook up next. Annemarie out.

Annemarie Karabinus is an opinion writer. Contact her at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Annemarie Karabinus, Photographer, Opinion Writer
Annemarie is a broadcast journalism major with a creative writing minor. She also is the Marketing Director at Black Squirrel Radio, a reporter for TV2's "the Blurb" and a cast member on TV2's 'All Systems Go." She is a photographer and opinion writer for Kentwired, and she hopes to one day be a news anchor on CNN. Contact her at [email protected]

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