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The British boy band, One Direction, has been named Artist of the Year by Billboard. The 'Steal My Girl' hitmakers released their third album 'Midnight Memories' last year in November, and raked USD 290 million from their 69 performances across the globe that helped them to emerge as a successful band. One Direction has become the first group to earn the top artist distinction since Destiny's Child ruled in 2001.
The ranking was done on the basis of the group's chart performances from December 7 last year to November 29 this year. Also their social, streaming and box-score data were taken into consideration. One Direction's third studio release, 'Midnight Memories' ranked No. 1 at Billboard Top 200 list, thus making it the first group to lead with their first three releases.
One Direction comprising Louis Tomlinson, 22, Zayn Malik, 21, Harry Styles, 20, Niall Horan, 21, and Liam Payne, 21, are the ninth group to take home the title since it was established in 1981. Country star and Grammy winner, Taylor Swift was Billboard's artist of the year in 2013.
Interestingly, One Direction is the fifth non-American-born act to be the top artist of the year following British singer Adele, Swedish quartet Ace of Base, Canadian star Alanis Morissette and Englishman George Michael in the top 4.
Pharrell Williams' Academy Award nominated song, "Happy" ranked as the year's No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 song.