One Direction fever reaches new peaks

The British band's Take Me Home becomes the third-biggest debut behind Red and Babel

One Direction's Take Me Home is taking the boys to the top of the charts - and to new heights.

The British band's second album has sold 540,000 copies in the US its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan, making it the year's third-biggest debut behind Taylor Swift's Red and Mumford & Sons's Babel.

"We just want to say a massive thanks to all the fans who have supported us," said group member Harry Styles, 18. "We can send tweets and thank them, but 140 characters is never going to be enough to say how much it means."

The album also debuted at No 1 in the UK this week and has topped the charts in more than 30 other countries, Columbia Records said. One Direction, who placed third on the UK version of The X Factor in 2010, are signed to Simon Cowell's Syco label imprint. In just a year, the band have become a worldwide sensations, thanks to its fans.

Proof of such mania came when they appeared last week on NBC's Today show. They drew a record-breaking 15,000 people to Rockefeller Plaza, outside NBC's New York studio. Some fans had camped out for four days just to get a glimpse of their idols.

The band have also released a book and have a 3D movie planned. They also made the cut for Barbara Walters's most fascinating people of 2012 list, which includes New Jersey governor Chris Christie and the Family Guy writer Seth McFarlane. - AP

Published: November 22, 2012 04:00 AM