21/03/2012 10:10 GMT

One Direction Top US Album Chart And Make History With 'Up All Night'

One Direction have made history as the first UK pop group to debut at number one on America's Billboard album chart.

Up All Night has gone straight into the top spot on the 200-album chart, Billboard said.

The previous highest entry for a UK group's first album was number six, when the Spice Girls entered the charts with their album Spice in 1997.

The boy band - Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson - are signed to Simon Cowell's label Syco.

The band's group Twitter account today said: "Congratulations to One Direction for coming in at #1 on the US @billboard charts. Thank you to all who've been there from day one. 1DHQ X."

The group sold 176,000 copies of the album in the US in the space of a week. It topped the digital charts within minutes of its release last week.

Harry said today: "We simply cannot believe that we are number one in America.

"It's beyond a dream come true for us. We want to thank each and every one of our fans in the US who bought our album and we would also like to thank the American public for being so supportive of us."

His bandmate Niall said: "When we got put together as a group, we couldn't imagine ourselves coming to America, let alone releasing our album here, so for us to be sitting at the top of the US album charts is unbelievable."

More than 10,000 fans are estimated to have turned up to see the band's first live TV performance in the US when they appeared on NBC's Today Show in Rockefeller Plaza, New York. They will continue to reach a bigger audience next week when they appear on the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards performing What Makes You Beautiful.