Zayn Malik drinks beer and smokes during Instagram live stream
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One Direction were formed on The X Factor in 2009 by Simon Cowell and the ITV show’s producers. Despite coming third in the singing competition, 1D signed a record deal with SyCo – Cowell’s label. What followed was a staggering amount of success from the young boyband, who claimed an incredible 36 million sales worldwide and platinum status for all five of their albums. Despite achieving such high praise within the band over the six years, Zayn left the group.
March 25 marks the sixth anniversary of the day when Zayn announced he had left the band.
At the time, the five-piece were in the middle of the “On The Road Again” world tour which coincided with their album Four.
The band were in Asia, where their last performance as a full group happened on March 18, 2015 in Hong Kong, China.
This wasn’t the first time Zayn moved away from the band. Just a few months before his exit, Zayn had bowed out of a huge live performance on The Today Show, blaming a stomach flu for his absence.
The rest of the band were quizzed about the star’s absence by the show, and were even asked if he had “substance abuse” problems.
Liam responded: “No, he’s fine, he’s just got a stomach bug… He’s at home resting.”
His first public appearance back with the band was on The Ellen Degeneres Show on November 22, 2014, where he told the host: “I’m feeling a lot better. I’m just happy to be back with the lads.”
In November 2015 the four remaining members of the band appeared on Ellen’s show again where they discussed the “tension” behind that last interview.
After five incredible years Zayn Malik has decided to leave OneDirection. Niall, Harry, Liam and Louis will continue as…
Posted by One Direction on Wednesday, 25 March 2015
Louis said the band had known he wanted to leave for a while, saying: “I think we kind of had – had a feeling, you know?”
After Zayn’s exit, the official One Direction Facebook account posted a statement announcing Zayn’s departure from the band.
The statement read: “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.”
Included in the statement were some words from Zayn, which read: “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.”
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Zayn continued: “I’d like to apologise to the fans if I’ve let anyone down, but I have to do what feels right in my heart. 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 four members of the band, Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson and Niall Horan, also wrote: “We’re really sad to see Zayn go, but we totally respect his decision and send him all our love for the future.”
1D continued: “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.”
Cowell also added: “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.”
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In December 2015 One Direction went on an indefinite hiatus, before later confirming they would not be getting back together.
Exactly one year after Zayn left the band he released his first solo album, Mind of Mine.
The album debuted at number one in the UK and the US, as well as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal and Sweden.
Mind of Mine is the first album from a British male to debut at number one on both US and UK charts with a debut single, Pillowtalk, and album.
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