New York - One Direction has proved that it is still going strong without Zayn Malik, with the boy band's new song breaking streaming records.
Spotify, the leading streaming platform, said Monday that the British pop group's "Drag Me Down" was the most listened-to song ever on a single day.
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Released without previous publicity on Friday, "Drag Me Down" marks One Direction's first song since Malik left in March, which led to acrimonious exchanges on social media among members of a group that had until then preserved a squeaky-clean public image.
A song about gathering strength from one's lover, "Drag Me Down" largely keeps One Direction's soft pop style but is backed by a reggae-influenced guitar.
Spotify said "Drag Me Down" was streamed 4.75 million times on its first day.
The previous record was set by rapper Wiz Khalifa for "See You Again."
It was streamed 4.26 million times on April 17, weeks after it came out but shortly after the release of the action film "Furious 7, " on which it appeared.
Spotify, which has 75 million active users, said that "Drag Me Down" was the first song to hit number one on its global chart on the day of its release.
The song went to number one on the first day in 15 countries including Canada, France, Malaysia, the Philippines and the United States, although not in the band's native Britain where Monday it was at number three.
One Direction stormed onto the scene in 2010 when the then teenagers appeared on the British talent show "The X Factor."
The band has since sold more than 65 million albums, according to its label, releasing a new work each year from 2011 to 2014 just before the year-end holiday shopping season.