Zayn Malik quits One Direction
Zayn Malik has quit One Direction, it has been confirmed.
The announcement was made today one week after the Bradford-born star made headlines for leaving their current tour due to what was reported as stress.
But the remaining group members will continue the world tour as a four-piece.
Zayn 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.
“I am leaving because I want to be a normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight.
“I know I have four friends for life in Louis, Liam, Harry and Niall. I know they will continue to be the best band in the world.”
The remaining group members said: “We’re really sad to see Zayn go, but we totally respect his decision and send him all our love for the future.
“The past five years have been beyond amazing – we’ve gone through so much together, so we will always be friends.
“The four of us will now continue. We’re looking forward to recording the new album and seeing all the fans on the next stage of the world tour.”
“Truly sorry to see him leave”
Simon Cowell, who put together the group on talent show The X Factor, said: “I would like to say thank you to Zayn for everything he has done for One Direction.
“Since I first met Zayn in 2010, I have grown very, very fond – and immensely proud – of him. I have seen him grow in confidence and I am truly sorry to see him leave.
“As for One Direction, fans can rest assured that Niall, Liam, Harry and Louis are hugely excited about the future of the band.”
The group will still be recording their fifth album, due to be released later this year.