One Direction's debut video hits one billion YouTube views

One Direction at the 2015 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theater. Nov. 22, 2015. Credit: Brian To/

One Direction's video for "What Makes You Beautiful" has become their first promo to crack the one billion views milestone on YouTube - seven years after its release.

The song served as the boyband's debut single from their first album, Up All Night, back in 2011, a year after Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, Harry Styles, Niall Horan, and Zayn Malik were grouped together by music mogul Simon Cowell on British talent show The X Factor.

The five-piece went on to become global superstars, before embarking on an indefinite hiatus in early 2016, less than a year after Zayn quit the band.

Despite currently pursuing solo careers, One Direction's loyal fans have continued to play their videos online, and What Makes You Beautiful has proved to be their most popular release to date, breaking the billion-views mark on Tuesday, reports

Although it's the band's first promo to rack up a billion hits, it's actually Zayn's second - the video for his track Dusk Till Dawn, his 2017 collaboration with Sia, sailed past the record figure earlier this year.

The news emerges a day after Zayn hit headlines, revealing he is no longer in contact with his old pals as a number of "snide" comments were made following his exit from the line-up.

"I ain't spoke (sic) to any of them for a long time, to be honest with you," he told British Vogue. "That's just the way it is. There's things that happen and things that were said after I left. Snide things. Small things that I would never have expected."

The singer also claimed he was never truly friends with his former bandmates, as he preferred to be on his own.

"I have always been a bit like that, though - always a bit of an island," Zayn shared. "I don't like to confer with too many people."