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What Makes You Beautiful (also abbreviated as WMYB) is One Direction's debut single from their debut album Up All Night. The single was released on September 11, 2011 in Europe, Australia and New Zealand. It is the band's signature song and one of the best selling singles of all time.

It has been certified double-platinum in the US after selling 2,060,303 units since February 2012. The single peaked at number four on Billboard Hot 100 and number one on the UK singles chart.

The music video, which was uploaded to YouTube on August 19, 2011, is one of the twenty most viewed videos of all time, having garnered more than 800 million views since it premiered.

Background

"What Makes You Beautiful" was written by Rami YacoubCarl Falk and Savan Kotecha, and produced by Yacoub and Falk.

The song is about a girl who is attractive, yet she doesn't believe it herself and as a result feels insecure when complimented.

"What Makes You Beautiful", is an uptempo teen pop and power pop song. The opening guitar riff has been noted as similar to that of Grease single "Summer Nights". "What Makes You Beautiful" has a guitar-based chorus; Digital Spy's Robert Copsey likened it to a cross between Pink's "Raise Your Glass" and McFly's "All About You". It also contains cowbell instrumentation, and the middle eight consists of an "oh na na na" hook.

Lyrics

[Liam]
You’re insecure
Don’t know what for
You’re turning heads when you walk through the door
Don’t need make up
To cover up
Being the way that you are is enough

[Harry]
Everyone else in the room can see it
Everyone else but you

[All]
Baby you light up my world like nobody else
The way that you flip your hair gets me overwhelmed
But when you smile at the ground it ain’t hard to tell
You don’t know (oh oh)
You don’t know you’re beautiful
If only you saw what I can see
You’d understand why I want you so desperately
Right now I’m looking at you and I can’t believe
You don’t know (oh oh)
You don’t know you’re beautiful
(Oh oh)

[Harry]
That's what makes you beautiful

[Zayn]
So c-come on.
You got it wrong.
To prove I'm right
I put it in a so-o-ng.
I don't know why
You're being shy,
And turn away when I look into your eye-eye-eyes

[Harry]
Everyone else in the room can see it
Everyone else but you

[All]
Baby you light up my world like nobody else
The way that you flip your hair gets me overwhelmed
But when you smile at the ground it ain’t hard to tell
You don’t know (oh oh)
You don’t know you’re beautiful
If only you saw what I can see
You’ll understand why I want you so desperately
Right now I’m looking at you and I can’t believe
You don’t know (oh oh)
You don’t know you’re beautiful
(Oh oh),

[Harry]
That's what makes you beautiful

[All]
Na na na na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na
Na na na na na na na na na na
Na na na na na na

[Harry]
Baby you light up my world like nobody else
The way that you flip your hair gets me overwhelmed
But when you smile at the ground it ain’t hard to tell

[All]
You don't know,
Oh oh,
You don't know you're beautiful,

Baby you light up my world like nobody else,
The way that you flip your hair gets me overwhelmed,
But when you smile at the ground it ain't hard to tell,
You don't know,
Oh oh,
You don't know you're beautiful (Oh),
If only you saw what I can see,
You'll understand why I want you so desperately (desperately),
Right now I'm looking at you and I can't believe,
You don't know,
Oh oh,
You don't know you're beautiful,
Oh oh,
You don't know you're beautiful,
Oh oh,

[Harry]
That's what makes you beautiful

Music Video

Music Video Information
One Direction - What Makes You Beautiful

One Direction - What Makes You Beautiful

full

Released August 19, 2011
Length 3:27
Director John Urbano
Production Co
Choreographer
Filmed July 2011
Location Malibu, CA, US
VEVO views 938,051,930 (as of March 31, 2018)

Background

"What Makes You Beautiful" is One Direction's debut music video. It was directed by John Urbano and filmed in Malibu, California, in July 2011, over two days. According to Urbano, the video is about "...these five guys who are on a road trip meeting up with three friends, who happen to be girls, they meet up at the beach". Louis further described the premise by saying, "It's like a group of girls who are friends, but there's one in particular that's really hot, but she actually doesn't know it. That's the whole point of the song, like she's so hot, but she doesn't realize it... but we do!"

Release

The video premiered in the UK on August 19, 2011 with a five day countdown leading up to it. On each of the five days preceding the video's premiere, One Direction posted a teaser trailer of the video on YouTube. Each teaser showed footage from the video and behind the scenes, and one member of the band announcing how many days were left until the video premiere.

On February 10, 2012, E! News showed a clip of the music video, but the music video officially premiered in the United States until the next day, February 11, 2012, on Nickelodeon.

Behind the scenes

One Direction - What Makes You Beautiful (Behind The Scenes)

One Direction - What Makes You Beautiful (Behind The Scenes)

Lyric Video

One Direction - What Makes You Beautiful (Lyric Video)

One Direction - What Makes You Beautiful (Lyric Video)

Teasers

One Direction - What Makes You Beautiful Teaser 1 (5 Days To Go)

One Direction - What Makes You Beautiful Teaser 1 (5 Days To Go)

One Direction - What Makes You Beautiful Teaser 2 (4 Days To Go)

One Direction - What Makes You Beautiful Teaser 2 (4 Days To Go)

One Direction - What Makes You Beautiful Teaser 3 (3 Days To Go)

One Direction - What Makes You Beautiful Teaser 3 (3 Days To Go)

One Direction - What Makes You Beautiful Teaser 4 (2 Days To Go)

One Direction - What Makes You Beautiful Teaser 4 (2 Days To Go)

One Direction - What Makes You Beautiful Teaser 5 (1 Day To Go)

One Direction - What Makes You Beautiful Teaser 5 (1 Day To Go)

Release

"What Makes You Beautiful" debuted at number one on the Irish Singles Chart on September 15, 2011. It held on to its spot for four weeks. The singles B-side, "Na Na Na" also entered the Irish Singles Chart at number twenty-seven. "What Makes You Beautiful" re-entered the top ten in its sixteenth week of release and has spent twenty-five weeks on the chart. "What Makes You Beautiful" became the fourteenth best-selling single of 2011 on the Irish Singles Chart.

In the United Kingdom, "What Makes You Beautiful" received the most pre-orders for a Sony Music Entertainment single.[1] It sold 82,000 copies in its first two days, and rose to 100,000 by the third day.[2] The single entered the UK Singles Chart at number one on September 18, 2011, shifting 153,965 copies that week. It was the highest first-week UK sales for any song in 2011 at the time. "What Makes You Beautiful" was the twentieth best-selling single of 2011, moving 540,000 copies.[3] On 8 October 2016, the Official Charts announced What Makes You Beautiful had become a million-selling single, only the 167th single in UK chart history to pass the seven-figure milestone.[4]

The single debuted at number one on the Scottish Singles Chart.

"What Makes You Beautiful" debuted at number fifteen on the Australian Singles Chart and has since peaked at number seven in its ninth week.[5] The single has been certified triple platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) for selling 210,000 copies. "Na Na Na" also charted on the Australian Singles Chart of November 28, 2011 at number eighty-four.

On the New Zealand Singles Chart, the single entered at number sixteen, then jumped to number three the following week. It peaked at number two in its fourth and fifth weeks, and spent eleven consecutive weeks in the New Zealand Singles Chart top ten. In its fifth week of release it was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ) for 7,500 sales, and in its ninth was certified platinum for 15,000 sales.

The single debuted on the Canadian Hot 100 at number nine, while debuting at number two on the digital songs chart with 19,000 downloads sold, the biggest debut for a first time charted artist since the Stereos's "Summer Girl" entered at number two in June 2009. The single has been certified gold by Music Canada (MC) for 40,000 sales.

In the United States, "What Makes You Beautiful" became the highest Hot 100 début for a U.K. act since 1998. The single debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at number twenty-eight, and at number twelve on the Hot Digital Songs Chart, selling 132,000 downloads in its first week. It currently peaked at number four in Hot 100.

Popular culture

  • "What Makes You Beautiful" is considered One Direction's signature song and is the track most people associate the band with.
  • The 1975 covered "What Makes You Beautiful" during their BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge set in 2013.
  • The Piano Guys covered "What Makes You Beautiful" in 2012. The YouTube video of their cover has garnered over 43 million views. They would later cover "Story of My Life".
  • In the US, the song is featured in TLC's advert for their 2012 summer wedding reality shows, as well as playing a small portion of the song during The Voice's commercials.
  • The song was covered on Glee by Kevin McHale, Damian Mcginty, Chord Overstreet, Samuel Larsen, and Harry Shum for the episode "Prom-asaurus". The episode premiered on May 8, 2012.
  • The song is featured on Just Dance 4, and holds the 2016 Guinness World Record for 'Most Popular Dance Game Track'.

Live Performances

One Direction - What Makes You Beautiful (Live)

One Direction - What Makes You Beautiful (Live)

One Direction - What Makes You Beautiful (VEVO LIFT)

One Direction - What Makes You Beautiful (VEVO LIFT)

One Direction ~ What Makes You Beautiful (Live on BBC Children In Need 2011)

One Direction ~ What Makes You Beautiful (Live on BBC Children In Need 2011)

One Direction - What Makes You Beautiful on Dancing on Ice

One Direction - What Makes You Beautiful on Dancing on Ice

One Direction perform What Makes You Beautiful at the Logies

One Direction perform What Makes You Beautiful at the Logies

This Is Us - What Makes You Beautiful

This Is Us - What Makes You Beautiful

Where We Are- Live From San Siro Stadium DVD - What Makes You Beautiful Performance

Where We Are- Live From San Siro Stadium DVD - What Makes You Beautiful Performance

One Direction - What Makes You Beautiful (Summertime Ball 2015)

One Direction - What Makes You Beautiful (Summertime Ball 2015)

What Makes You Beautiful - One Direction TV Special -HD-

What Makes You Beautiful - One Direction TV Special -HD-

Tour 

Being the band's debut single, the song has been performed on all of One Direction's tours so far.

Credits

  • Tom Coyne — mastering
  • Carl Falk — writing, production, programming, instruments, guitar
  • Serban Ghenea — mixing
  • John Hanes — mix engineering
  • Savan Kotecha — writing
  • Phil Seaford — mix engineering assistance
  • Rami Yacoub — writing, production, programming, instruments, bass

Trivia

  • While shooting the video, Louis was pulled over twice for driving too slow.
  • Its working title was "You Don't Know You're Beautiful."

References

  1. One Direction's 'What Makes You Beautiful' breaks pre-order sales record
  2. One Direction: What Makes Flew Beautiful
  3. The Top 20 biggest selling singles of 2011 revealed!
  4. One Direction's What Makes You Beautiful is the UK's latest million-selling song
  5. ONE DIRECTION - WHAT MAKES YOU BEAUTIFUL - Australian Charts