The popular British boy band, which consists of Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson and Niall Horan, returned to The X Factor UK (where they got their start) for the show’s season finale on Sunday.
Performing songs “History” and “Infinity” from their latest album, One Direction took the stage during the live UK broadcast from London’s Wembley Arena.
During “History,” a montage of photos from the group’s five years together played on a screen behind them.
“We’re sad that we’re going away for a little while but we need it,” Payne told the packed, cheering crowd after finishing the tune.
The group announced their plans to take a year-long hiatus earlier this past summer.
Initially, the group said they wouldn’t begin the temporary split until at least March.
After the performance, the band recorded a video for fans backstage, which they captioned “thank you!” and shared to Facebook.
Speaking for all the members, Payne said, “This is just a massive, massive thank you to all of our fans.”
He continued, “Obviously you guys made all this happen for us and we can’t believe the way you’ve supported us over these last five years and today’s a very special day for us because this is like the last part of our first chapter.”
The star added that the Directioners are “the most dedicated people I think we’ve ever seen in our lives.”[facebook url="https://www.facebook.com/onedirectionmusic/videos/998655750189219/" /]
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A bevy of stars also sent well wishes to One Direction during the performance. Everyone from Danny Devito to David Beckham appeared in a video montage that played during the show.
While fans are already expressing their disappointment over the band’s hiatus – #ThisIsNotTheEndOfOneDirection was trending on Twitter after there performance – One Direction is still set to appear in an episode of James Corden’s popular Carpool Karaoke this week.