A levelheaded, talented singer, Liam Payne auditioned for "The X Factor" (ITV, 2004- ) as a solo act in 2008, but was told by Simon Cowell to return in two years. Upon his successful 2010 revisit, Payne was grouped with fellow contestants Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson to form the boy band One Direction. After coming in third on the reality show, they hit No. 1 with their debut single "What Makes You Beautiful," scored the hit follow-up "Gotta Be You," and released their blockbuster debut album, 2011's <i>Up All Night</i>. Showered with European awards, fan adulation and commercial success, One Direction then moved to conquer America with appearances on "Saturday Night Live" (NBC, 1975- ) and "iCarly" (Nickelodeon, 2007- ) that coincided with the chart-topping release of their album stateside. Representing a new era of boy bands that seemed - at least on the surface - to be less packaged and more approachable, One Direction, as well as Liam Payne, seemed poised to enjoy considerable success on the global stage.