One Direction’s Zayn Malik has made the decision to quit the band, as was reported earlier today. The 22-year-old’s departure from the infamous pop group comes 5 days after he left the other four boys to carry on their last two shows in the Phillipines, returning back to the UK due to stress.
The band made an official announcement on their Facebook today, stating that the self-proclaimed Bradford Bad Boy was taking his leave for good from the rest of the group, as he felt it was in his best interest to go his own way and no longer continuing making music with them. Harry, Louis, Niall, and Liam will continue on the rest of the On The Road Again tour, with the South African leg of their tour coming up soon. The tour itself has only been going on since last month, and will go on until September (the boys will ultimately travel to over a dozen countries and will play 80 shows in total.) They will be recording a fifth album without their former bandmate.
The statement contained Malik’s heartfelt message to both the other boys and his fans, saying that he could not have imagined a better journey that that which he had experienced with them. He expressed his regret regarding letting people down, but went on to say that he was absolutely sure that this was the best decision for him at this time. Malik thanked the other four for always being there for him, and he says that they will be friends for life. The boys echoed this statement, saying that their bond was forever and that they wish their friend the best and support him no matter what.
Manager Simon Cowell, who formed the band back in 2010 on the The X Factor, also gave a statement regarding the matter. He thanked Malik for all of his hard work and dedication to the band over the years, and said that he was extremely proud of the singer for how far he had come since the start. He wrapped up his message by saying that fans need not worry about the future of the band, because the rest of the boys were going to stick together and continue on their way in terms of making their own music without Malik.
A video has surfaced on the internet showing Styles breaking down completely in the band’s first post-Zayn exit show, having to walk away from the rest of them after failing to wipe away the tears that were coming following his announcement that the 22-year-old was not coming back. Tomlinson did not handle the matter too well either, also succumbing to an outward pouring of grief while having to perform without Malik.
The Twitter reactions are mixed. For the most part, Directioners are devastated and are begging for the singer to come back. However, many fans are angry at Malik for leaving the world tour completely, stating that it is unfair to everyone who has paid for tickets and was wanting to see all of them. Indeed, one upset user said that she had paid $350 for her ticket and was extremely unhappy that she would not be seeing Malik perform. The angry reactions have gone to the extreme, with a few saying that the Bradford Bad Boy had ruined their life and they wanted nothing to do with him anymore, given that he could have simply waited till September instead of making such a dramatic exit and causing so much upset.
There is not yet any news as to what Zayn Malik’s plans are following his departure from One Direction. For now, however, he says he simply wants to lead a normal life and be out of the spotlight.
By Rebecca Grace