London is hosting the 2014 Asian Awards, an annual celebration of Asian culture and achievements throughout the world, and One Direction star Zayn Malik has come out to join the party. The oft-described bad boy of arguably the world’s biggest boy band has already had shown up in a Twitter photo and another picture that brings him together with British DJ and producer Naughty Boy. Although not up for an award, Malik is still making his presence known at one of Asian culture’s most prestigious events.
Malik has had an interesting couple of days. On April Fool’s Day a rumor started spreading that the singer was dead. The hoax, apparently an annual April 1st tradition that in past years has included Jeff Goldblum, Eddie Murphy and Jackie Chan, started as a real-looking BBC news web page that announced the singer’s demise in a hotel room. The hashtag #RIPZaynMalik then started making the rounds and created the expected panic.
Apparently this isn’t the first time this has happened to One Direction band members, although the price of fame these days seems to be a random death hoax from time to time. Surprisingly, Will Smith took to Twitter too warn whomever started the April Fool’s Day rumor that a fan base of millions of angry girls were out for his or her blood. The perpetrator is presumably in hiding, especially now that they are aware Will Smith is in on the game.
Possibly wanting to reassure a skittish fan base, Zayn Malik brought himself out to the Asian Awards and allowed for, presumably, some of the room’s coolest people to take a few pictures. The Twitter picture was posted on the feed of Jasmine Dotiwala, dressed in sparkling green next to the One Direction star, who describes herself as “TV Radio Print Press Broadcaster. International flygirl,” in which case it is unknown who was more impressed sitting next to whom.
As for the event itself, a number of well-known film, television, and music personalities joined the celebration along side an impressive group of world achievers.
One of these was Ahmed Kathrada, a man who was forced to spend over 26 years in prison and, along with the late Nelson Mandela, helped to organize South Africa’s the anti-apartheid movement. Another was an Indian billionaire and one of India’s greatest philathopists who donated a total of $76 million dollars in 2013.
Another of the Asian Awards was given to legendary actor and martial arts legend Jackie Chan. Chan is well known for philanthropic works with such organizations as UNICEF, but is also still kicking it all over the world making movies such as the rumored fourth sequel to Rush Hour with Chris Rock. He wasn’t able to make the event, disappointing plenty of the people in the room.
Other great pop-culture figures have been given posthumous awards in the last few years: martial arts master Bruce Lee and Queen lead singer Freddy Mercury. Mercury might seem a strange choice, but he was born in Zanzibar as Farrokh Bulsara and is considered one of the world’s 60 greatest Asian influencers.
Having brought themselves out to the Asian Awards, the vexing question plaguing many of the young attendees is presumably which hotel room to collectively retire to after the event is over. Zayn Malik is engaged, so he probably won’t be out too late, assuming Little Mix isn’t there to party with him. Either way, he is not allowed to go too crazy as One Direction starts their stadium tour in South America on the 24th.
Commentary by Andrew Elfenbein