The summer belonged to 5SOS and the first single from their self-titled debut, "She Looks So Perfect." The "American Apparel" referencing song was massively popular everywhere (well, except American Apparel), with its gang vocals, power-chord driven chorus and delightfully PG-13 lyrics. The song hit No. 1 in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, Scotland and the U.K., tapping out at No. 32 stateside. It would go on to sell 925,000 copies in the U.S., proving that slow and steady wins the race. More than that, "She Looks So Perfect" dominated pop radio and reminded angst-y teens everywhere that pop-punk, lip rings and skinny jeans is where it's at.
The true sign of success is when someone much more famous than you decides it's time to cover your jam. It can also write you off to eternal one-hit wonder status...thankfully that didn't happen to our boys from down under! In June the British babe Ed Sheeran put his own soulful twist on "She Looks So Perfect," making the phrase "And I know now / That I'm so down," sound surprisingly romantic.
July 22, 2014 goes down in 5 Seconds of Summer history as the day the boys' dropped their first full-length album, moving the once-YouTube sensations from Internet fame to real band status. The record would debut at No. 2 on the Billboard 200, and No. 1 in their native Australia, making them the first band to hit the coveted spot with a debut album. Impressive stuff! Learn more about the album by checking out our complete guide here.
The boys of 5 Seconds of Summer are known for their playful personalities. Once their popularity started to skyrocket, Jimmy Kimmel took notice and invited them on his program for a hilarious segment. In the clip, 5SOS tell a few adorable teens that they're going to attempt to break the record for the most fans kissed. Each gleeful girl is instructed to close their eyes and kiss a screen with the promise that a band member on the other side would do the same. When they open their eyes, they're greeted by... well... we won't ruin it for you.
This year, Weird Al had the best run of his entire career, culminating with the comedian/songwriter reaching No. 1 with his parody album Mandatory Fun. The record, which parodied everyone from Iggy Azalea to Pharrell, was massive. While many tried to trump the record, only 5 Seconds of Summer would succeed, knocking him to the No. 2 spot and claiming gold for their own.
In the midst of all this excitement—the single, the album, Ed, late night television—5 Seconds of Summer landed a coveted spot opening for the biggest boy band in the world, One Direction. They've toured with the boys before, but this was international and even bigger. At the New York date, 5SOS played in front of 60,000 people! You could say they were onto something big...
BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge is legendary at this point. The station only invites the biggest and best names to cover equally as adored acts. 5 Seconds of Summer went on the program to tackle Blink-182's "I Miss You." (Which, by the way, was on the first CD Calum ever owned.) Not too shabby for a "boy band" from Australia.
In the late night hierarchy, it gets no bigger than The Tonight Show. 5SOS went on the program to perform their single "Good Girls," and, again, do a comedy sketch. This segment has the boys playing some of Jimmy's favorite "Fall Songs," aka parodies of popular songs with new lyrics about the season suggested by fans on Twitter. The first came from user @tarynpratch19 who wrote, "All the fall things, football and hot wings, I'll rake, the leaves. In my, flannel sleeves. Say it ain't so, I just saw snow! #FallSongs." The boys sang the song to the tune of Blink-182's mega-hit "All The Small Things." There were a few more songs as part of the bit, such as a "Halloween Problems" rendition of Jay Z's "99 Problems," Nelly's "Hot In Here" and even their own "She Looks So Perfect."
The next step on the band's rise to super-stardom took place in an odd setting—a girls reform school. After their iconic and partially nude video for "She Looks So Perfect" and their superhero-channeling clip for "Don't Stop," the boys decided to treat their next hit like an actual film, helping the good girls see their badass babe potential. What's more punk than breaking the rules, right? The clip channels Blink-182's "Feeling This," My Chemical Romance's "I'm Not Okay" and Good Charlotte's "Little Things" music videos, so we're not complaining.
On daytime TV, Ellen immediately took to 5SOS, setting up a rather hysterical skit. She invited a handful of fans to come to her studio before taping. 5 Seconds of Summer stood in an elevator with sliding doors before a group of girls. Each set of fans, two or three at once, would get five seconds with the band, and it was up to them to make the best use of their time.
As you can imagine, there was a lot of screaming. Each time the doors opened to reveal the boys, they'd do something different, screaming in response to the girls, standing coldly, shaking their hands and at one point, even pulling their pants down!
The final mark of success is, well, being given awards for your success! In just a few short months, 5 Seconds of Summer won Best Lyric Video at the VMAs, Best New Artists at the AMAs and Song of the Year at the ARIAs for "She Looks So Perfect." They were even the runner up in our Top 40 of 2014 music video countdown, second only to Katy Perry. Not bad, boys!