Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


A first for a debut: UK band One Direction tops US charts


One Direction, who rose to fame on The X Factor, have become the first British pop group to go straight to No 1 in the US charts with their debut album.

Up All Night has sold more than 176,000 copies in just a week. It beat the previous highest entry by a UK band, which The Spice Girls achieved when their debut, Spice, went in at No 6 in 1997.

The boy band – Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson – were signed by Simon Cowell's music label, Syco, after they finished third on The X Factor.

Their debut album went in at No 1 in the UK as well as in 12 other countries as sales ticked past 4.2 million. More than 10,000 fans turned up in New York's Rockefeller Plaza to see their first live television performance.