When Did Zayn Malik Leave One Direction & Why?

29 October 2021, 14:37

Zayn Malik embarked on a solo career after leaving One Direction
Zayn Malik embarked on a solo career after leaving One Direction. Picture: Getty/PA
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One Direction’s Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Zayn Malik, Niall Horan and Louis Tomlinson started their journey on the X Factor in 2010 and went on a hiatus in 2016, but when did Zayn leave the band?

One Direction is undoubtedly one of the biggest boy bands of our time since they first appeared on the X Factor in 2010.

Harry Styles, Zayn Malik, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson and Liam Payne came third in the ITV singing competition and went on to have the most successful career as a band, before going on to embark on equally successful solo projects.

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Father-to-be Zayn ended up leaving the group while the ‘What Makes You Beautiful’ boys went on to produce music for another year without him, before eventually announcing they would be taking a hiatus in January 2016.

But when did Zayn leave One Direction and why did he make the decision to go solo first?

Watch Harry Styles' X Factor Audition

When did Zayn Malik leave One Direction?

The ‘Flames’ hitmaker, who has just split from girlfriend Gigi Hadid, announced on March 25, 2015, that he would be leaving the band.

At the time the boys were on their ‘On the Road Again Tour’ and he pulled out two months in due to stress and anxiety, according to his rep at the time.

One Direction were together from 2010-2016
One Direction were together from 2010-2016. Picture: PA

Why did Zayn Malik leave One Direction?

His last performance with the 1D boys was in Hong Kong on March 18, 2015.

In an announcement on Facebook, 1D penned a statement which revealed Zayn wanted to leave the band to live a 'normal’ life.

It 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.

"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 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."

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