Zayn Malik announced Wednesday that he’s quitting One Direction altogether so that he could live a normal life like ‘a normal 22-year-old… out of the spotlight’ … and this came six days after he quit the band’s ongoing tour due to ‘stress.’
In a statement released on the band’s Facebook page, Malik 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 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.
On Direction, on its own part, said:
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.
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.
News of Malik’s departure has been generating tons of reaction since Wednesday, with many fans expressing their shock and disappointment and many others blaming his fiancée Perrie Edwards for allegedly influencing his decision, even going as far as calling her the new Yoko Ono. (Yoko Ono is the wife of John Lennon, who many have accused of breaking up The Beatles).
Meanwhile, the boys are taking the news very hard, especially Harry Styles, who broke down during their concert in Jakarta, Indonesia Wednesday night (video below).