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Are One Direction Bigger than The Beatles?

Published February 7, 2014 at 9:34 am

Recently, the world celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, a landmark cultural moment for what was arguably the most important band in rock-and-roll history.

In a television special entitled “The Beatles: The Night That Changed America,” the two surviving members of the Fab Four, Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney, as well as a list of music stars old and new, including Pharrell and Katy Perry, gathered to celebrate a milestone for the group.

But a band who was not among those in attendance that roster was the pop teen craze of this generation, One Direction. In a statement that was destined to be taken out of context and re-purposed for the titles of thousands of click-bait articles, the frontman of that band, Harry Styles, specifically denied that his five-man group was anywhere near as talented as the Beatles.

“Fame-wise, it’s probably even bigger, but we don’t stand anywhere near them in terms of music,” he recently told Top of the Pops magazine, as the BBC reported.

It’s an innocent enough statement that has, sure enough, been reinterpreted to mean the exact opposite of what Styles was probably trying to say. On the other hand, it has undoubtedly grabbed some headlines, and could lead people to start at least considering these two seemingly disparate bands on the same spectrum.

It’s a gamble to take on brand names that are widely considered to be the champions in their field, especially if you don’t have any immediate grounds to justify your own part in this kind of comparison.

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