updated 03/23/2012 AT 10:00 AM ET
•originally published 03/24/2012 AT 11:00 AM ET
Scream “One Direction!” around teen girls and you’re likely to create a stampede. The breakout U.K. boy band is making a big splash here in the States and has thousands of young girls swooning, literally.
Harry Styles, 18, Niall Horan, 18, Liam Payne, 18, Zayn Malik, 19, and Louis Tomlinson, 20, make up the group of talented heartthrobs, known as 1D to their fans. Everyone of them is English except for Horan, who’s the lone Irishman of the bunch. But they’re all adorable, with accents to match.
Now with a No. 1 U.S. album, upcoming performances at this month’s Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards and on April 7’s Saturday Night Live, as well as a Nickelodeon show of their own in the works, One Direction is headed for potential superstardom. As their popularity expands, here are five things to know about this Fab Five:
1. The group is a Simon Cowell creation
Cowell discovered the boys in 2010 during solo auditions for his U.K. X Factor. None made the cut as a solo act, but producers brought them back as a group, and they finished third on the show. Now signed to Cowell’s label, their album Up All Night has blazed up the charts in the U.K. and U.S.
2. The numbers don’t lie
The group has 2 million Twitter followers and reportedly gains 20,000 new followers a day. Their video for the hit single “What Makes You Beautiful” has gotten more than 75 million views on Youtube, and, according to Google, One Direction generates 3.35 million searches a month.
3. They cause Beatles-like pandemonium
Five thousand fans mobbed a Massachusetts mall during an autograph signing; dozens of girls chased the band’s car through the streets of Nashville and a crowd of 10,000 turned out for their NBC Today show performance. At a Long Island event, “this girl touched my hand and she completely fainted, like passed out on the floor,” Malik recently told USA Today. “I’d never seen anything like it.”
4. They’ve already beaten the Beatles and Adele
One Direction is the first U.K. act to ever debut its first album at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart. Not even the Beatles or the Spice Girls had that kind of instant success. Also, the group bested Adele at this year’s Brit Awards, taking home the best British single award for “What Makes You Beautiful.”
5. Their parents reap the benefits
The group said as a joke to PEOPLE that they sent creator Cowell a set of their One Direction dolls as a thank-you. But, for their parents: “We bought them cars!” said Styles.