Zayn Malik has officially left hit boy band One Direction after stating he wants “to be a normal 22-year-old.”
Malik broke the news on the band’s Facebook page stating: “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 apologize 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.”
His bandmates add, “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.”
And Simon Cowell, who signed the band after the singers appeared as contestants on his U.K. talent show The X Factor, states: “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.”
Malik left the group’s tour shortly after the story erupted and now has quit the band altogether.
We wish him the best at going back to a “normal” life (although I think it’s safe to say that won’t happen) and in his relationship.