On March 25, the news broke out all over social media: Zayn Malik left One Direction.

In 2010, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, and Louis Tomlinson auditioned separately for the British television competition The X Factor. However, they couldn’t make it as solo acts so they were put together to create no other than one of Britain’s most well known boy-bands, One Direction, who instantly won the hearts of girls worldwide.

Last year, they raked in about $75 million, and became the first group ever to have their first four albums debut at number one on the U.S. Billboard charts.

But apparently that was too much to handle for Malik.

One D“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,” said Malik in a statement released by the band.

Malik could no longer take the spotlight, and wants to spend the rest of his time away from the band as a normal 22-year-old.

Though this came as a shock to 1D fans, it seems Malik has been planning to leave the band for a while now. Just a week before he called it quits, he released a statement saying he was taking a break from the band’s current tour due to stress after rumors surfaced that he was cheating on his fiancé, member of the band Little Mix, Perrie Edwards.

From the worldwide success of the band, you can imagine there are millions of teenage girls, and maybe one 20-year-old in particular (me), who are completely devastated by the news. But it seems Malik’s departure is affecting the band, too. During the most recent performance without Malik, in Indonesia, band mate Harry Styles reportedly broke down and cried on stage.

But it’s okay Harry. From the looks of it, many people still have hope for the band, including me.

Following Malik’s departure, the band’s Spotify profile saw an increase of 1.4 million streams. Spotify officials called it a “spike of sadness.” So fellow fans, don’t worry, the boys will be fine.

The band released that the four remaining members will still continue their current tour and production of their fifth album, which should be released next year.

“We’re looking forward to recording the new album and seeing all the fans on the next stage of the world tour,” they said.

However, let’s not be surprised if we see Malik turn into the Justin Timberlake of the group.

 

– Gabriella Tovar, staff writer

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