The Recording Academy never recognized One Direction with a Grammy nomination when they were together, which is unfortunate but not shocking. On one hand, 1D produced arguably the most substantial album catalog from a boy band in history (especially if we're not counting Boyz II Men). But then again, 1D was a boy band created by a reality TV series – hardly the kind of act that historically earns Grammy nominations, much less wins.
But when the boys of the band broke out and began forging individualistic solo careers, it seemed like their Grammy fortunes might change. There was 2016 buzz that Zayn – who went solo before the group's hiatus – could earn a best new artist nod in 2017, but that was quashed by the Recording Academy, which argued he was far too well-known to be considered a 'new artist.' (Fair enough: It's not like you would have called Paul McCartney a 'new artist' in 1970 when he started his post-Beatles career.) Even so, Zayn got no love for his No. 1 album Mind of Mine or his Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 song "Pillowtalk" that year.