Few would have pitched these boy wonders whose run on X-Factor in 2010 found them runner-ups at third place -- to plough on to be worth a net $130 million. Losing X-Factor clearly did little to hamper their successes. Luckily for them — more so than music itself — tight-top Simon Cowell knew exactly what ingredients were needed to create their global success. One Direction last year earned more than twice as much money as Rolling Stones. Even when boy wonder Zayn Malik left the band last year, provoking teenage tears worldwide, it did little to hamper the band’s success.
So with the London-based boyband now made of four members: Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, they’ll actually just earn more. Only two years after the band appeared on X-Factor, they’d reportedly built an empire worth $50 million. The boy band have won five Brit Awards, four MTV Video Music Awards, eleven MTV Europe Music Awards, seven American Music Awards (including Artist of the Year in 2014 and 2015), and nineteen Teen Choice Awards out of nineteen nominations, and that’s not even all of them.
Last year, they appeared on the reliable Forbes list which saw them ranked the fourth highest earning celebs. It was the band’s first album, Up All Night, that was released worldwide in 2012, after becoming the UK’s fastest selling debut album the previous year. It went on in 2012 to sell over 3 million copies worldwide and topped the charts in sixteen countries. The massive reach obviously meant massive money. Simon Cowell must’ve been grinning his way to the bank along with his protégés.
The band’s tours have been managed mostly by Paul Higgins, but they eventually parted ways, while their Midnight Memories and Four, the band's Where We Are Tour was the highest grossing ever tour by any band: it generated $282 million.
With all the money sloshing around, it was only a matter of time before 1D became fully-fledged philanthropists: In 2014, the band gave £600,000 to the Stand up to Cancer campaign after donating revenues from their Where We Are Tour, measured by a proportion of their tickets. They also did some charity work to raise money for Ebola.
Cowell said of the group, they "were confident, fun, like a gang of friends, and kind of fearless as well.” He certainly spotted something in the band that meant they could on to eclipse all the other X-Factor contestants ever, and create a staggering combined worth. Still, nothing really compared to the wealth of Mr Cowell himself. But enough for a bunch of lads in their twenties.