Zayn Malik has announced his departure from the English-Irish boy band One Direction, after spending five “incredible years” with the band. The band is currently on their On The Road Again tour in Asia and is performing in Jakarta, Indonesia tonight. Malik has dropped out of the last two shows following recent controversy about him being spotted with a mystery girl in Thailand.
The band will continue as a four-piece, with members Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson. In a Facebook statement on the band’s official page, Malik states his departure is due to the fact that he has to “do what feels right in his heart” and that he needs to “relax and have some private time out of the spotlight.”
The band is currently signed with Simon Cowell’s Syco Records, after forming in the seventh series of the British televised singing competition, The X Factor, in 2010. They have gained international fame and a large fan base due to social media. Simon Cowell himself has expressed his thoughts on Malik’s departure, stating that he is “truly sorry” to see him leave, and that he is “immensely proud” of how far Malik has come since they met in 2010.
The fans have already been expressing their shock, and the hashtags #AlwaysInOurHeartsZaynMalik and #PleaseZaynBackForUs are currently trending worldwide on Twitter. Malik himself has not tweeted anything since he addressed his latest controversy in Thailand.
The band has released a statement saying that even though they are sad to see Malik leave, they “respect his decision and send him all our love for the future.” They look forward to continuing the forthcoming concerts of their world tour and recording their fifth album, which is due to be released this year.
One Direction has won five Brit Awards, four MTV Music Video Awards, eleven MTV Europe Music Awards, and nineteen Teen Choice Award nominations. They were also declared 2012’s “Top New Artist” by Billboard, being one of the most successful boybands in recent times. Their latest studio album, Four, was released on the 17th of November 2014 and topped the Billboard 200 charts as well as the UK album charts.
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