Zayn Malik leaves pop band One Direction after five years

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Malik pictured while performing with One Direction in 2012.
Image: Eva Rinaldi.

Zayn Malik, one of the members of British pop boy-band One Direction, has left the group after five years. The band confirmed yesterday that Malik has left the group with a statement on Facebook. They also announced they would continue with the remaining four members and their fifth album would be recorded later this year.

The statement posted on One Direction's Facebook page said "After five incredible years Zayn Malik has decided to leave One Direction. Niall, Harry, Liam and Louis will continue as a four-piece and look forward to the forthcoming concerts of their world tour and recording their fifth album, due to be released later this year".

Malik, 22, also released a statement through Facebook confirming his departure. He said "My life with One Direction has been more than I could ever have imagined. But, after five years, I feel like it is now the right time for me to leave the band. I'd like to apologise to the fans if I've let anyone down, but I have to do what feels right."

After news of Malik's departure spread fans took to social media to share their disappointment. On Twitter the hashtag #AlwaysInOurHeartsZaynMalik was created and 48,000 comments were left on the statement posted by the band on Facebook. The Employer Advice Service, based at Manchester company Peninsula, said 220 people had called overnight regarding compassionate leave relating to the news. Speaking to the Manchester Evening News, employment law director Alan Price said “While I sympathise with One Direction fans, I hardly think this qualified as compassionate leave".

One Direction formed as a group in 2010 after competing as single artists on the British reality music competition The X Factor. The band was signed by Simon Cowell's record label after the show, which they finished third on. The remaining members of the group are Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson.