If you need evidence of One Direction's massive 2012, look no further than the previously empty space on Seventh Avenue vacated by bellied-up booksellers Borders. Nestled into the side of New York's largest concert venue, Madison Square Garden, and sitting above Penn Station's massive transit hub, the retail space was a real-estate goldmine and could have easily gone with another Starbucks, McDonald's or place to sell "I Love NY" T-shirts.
Instead, realtors opted for the hottest commodity possible: 1D.
New York City felt the effects of the boy band's worldwide phenomenon with the addition of a new store, solely dedicated to Harry, Liam, Louis, Zayn and Niall. Packed with band bling, cozy onesies, posters, cardboard cutouts and T-shirts with customizable "Future Mrs. Payne" sayings, the pop-up store took 1D fandom and gave it a place to live — in the homes of each and every Directioner (1D World has locations in Canada and Australia too!).
But if real-estate examples aren't really your thing, know this: One Direction are MTV's Best Artists of 2012 — and there are plenty of reasons.
In March, Up All Night became the first debut LP from a British group to premiere at #1 on the Billboard 200. The album had been released in the U.K. first, but after fans started catching on Stateside, we saw a full-on British invasion. Eight months after Up All Night came to the U.S., fans were invited to Take Me Home — and they did, taking home 540,000 copies of the sophomore album, which (guess what?) also debuted at #1.
By the time the guys hit up the Kids' Choice Awards later in March, America had gotten the One Direction infection — including Sasha and Malia Obama — and the band was ready to make the rounds at a year full of award shows. MTV's 2012 Video Music Awards in August gave them three Moonmen, earning a win in each category they were up for. At the American Music Awards in November, the boys got three nominations as well. And three was the charm, when they took away three prizes at the Teen Choice Awards.
Of course, it's not just record sales and awards that matter: The real force behind One Direction is the Directioners. You know, the ones who camped out all weekend in the cold to watch their performance on the "Today" show? (By the way, that performance broke a "Today" show record, drawing in 15,000 people to Rockefeller Plaza.) They were the ones who had their hearts broken when Zayn Malik quit Twitter, insisting and succeeding in getting him to rejoin in a day's time. And they were the ones who screamed, cried and sang along on One Direction's tour.
In a year where the five teenagers topped the charts, invaded "Saturday Night Live," met the queen and helped close out the Olympics, One Direction played the biggest concert of their life at Madison Square Garden. It was their first arena-level show, and tickets sold out in 10 minutes. And a week later, they played there again, the crowd of Directioners never waning as they waited for the band under 15-feet tall banners of Niall, Harry and company — all right next door to that little pop-up shop in New York City.
Congrats on an awesome year, One Direction!
What makes 1D your favorite artist of 2012? Leave a comments below!