One Direction
One Direction are voted MTV stars of 2013 in the global social media campaign Reuters

One Direction have been named MTV's Stars of 2013.

The British boy band beat Canadian pop sensation Justin Bieber to claim the title after gaining 40.8 million votes in the #MTVstars worldwide social media campaign.

In a message to fans Liam Payne said: "We've just found out that you voted us top of the list for the MTV's Stars of 2013 - thank you so, so much!

"We heard we racked up over 40 million votes. We can't believe the hard work - it must have taken you absolutely ages. Thank you so, so much!"

In a month-long competition to determine the brightest global music stars of the year, fans voted for their favourites using the hashtag #MTVstars with the name of the act.

The worldwide social media campaign trended in 127 locations across the globe and registered 50,000 tweets per minute.

Bieber narrowly lost out to the former X Factor auditionees with 40.5 million votes.

Nicki Minaj, Beyoncé, Chris Brown, Ke$ha, 30 Seconds to Mars, The Wanted, Rihanna and Little Mix all made it into the Top 10.

With sales of more than 19 million singles and 10 million albums, One Direction are arguably the most famous boy band in the world and their legion of fans on social media around the world have contributed to their global success.

The band recently topped the UK and US charts with their latest album, Midnight Memories.