Louis Tomlinson was born on December 24, 1991, in the town of Doncaster in South Yorkshire, England. His parents, Johannah and Troy Austin, divorced when he was young, and he took his stepfather Mark Tomlinson’s last name as his own. Tomlinson has five younger stepsisters: Georgia, Charlotte, Félicité and twins Daisy and Phoebe.When Tomlinson’s baby twin sisters had minor roles on the television comedy Fat Friends, Louis went along and was also cast as an extra. Tomlinson, then 11 years old, then took acting lessons and received small parts on the television dramas If I Had You and Waterloo Road.In Doncaster, Tomlinson attended The Hayfield School; when he failed to graduate, he completed his studies at Hall Cross Academy. At Hall Cross he performed in several school productions, including the musical Grease. Outside school, he worked part-time jobs in retail and at the Doncaster Rovers Football Club. Tomlinson auditioned for the television talent competition The X Factor in 2009, but was turned down. However, when he returned to try out for the show’s seventh season in 2010, his rendition of the song “Hey There Delilah” by the Plain White T’s brought him successfully into the competition. He advanced several rounds, singing hits like Adele’s “Make You Feel My Love.” He was eliminated before the final round, but the judges united him with his fellow competitors Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Liam Payne and Zayn Malik to form a group act. This new band, called One Direction, finished the competition in third place and received a contract with Simon Cowell’s music label. Tomlinson has enjoyed worldwide success as part of One Direction. The band’s first single, “What Makes You Beautiful,” was released in September 2011 in the United Kingdom and became a global No. 1 hit. Their first album, Up All Night, was released in early 2012 and was a chart-topper in 16 countries; their second album, Take Me Home (2012), was also a hit. One Direction performed at the 2012 Summer Olympics closing ceremony in London and has toured the world.