From left, Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson, Zayn Malik and Liam Payne from British band One Direction (Photo by Jonathan Short/Invision/AP)
LONDON: British pop phenomenon One Direction were on Thursday named as the world's most popular recording artists of 2013 by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI).
Band member Niall Horan called it "incredible news" and thanked fans for the newly-created award, which aggregates CD and vinyl sales; download sales and streaming numbers.
"It's great to have a chart that includes everything from iTunes and record stores, to YouTube and Spotify," he said.
"Again a huge thank you to all of our fans for such an amazing 2013."
The boy-band's third studio album, "Midnight Memories" raced to the top of the US Billboard Top 200 chart, making the five-piece the first group in US chart history to debut at No. 1 with their first three albums.
Their video for "Best Song Ever" attracted almost 200 million views on YouTube.
US rapper Eminem claimed second spot thanks to his eighth studio album "The Marshall Mathers LP 2" while third place was taken by former boy-band member Justin Timberlake. - AFP