One Direction have shrunk from five members to four as it has been confirmed that Zayn Malik has left the band.
Directioners everywhere are in mourning after the news was delivered in a statement from Malik, the band and their founder Simon Cowell posted to One Direction’s Facebook page.
“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,” Malik said in the statement.
“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.”
The speculation has been rife for a week now after Malik left the band’s world tour due to stress. He was due to rejoin the tour, however, that will no longer be happening.
The band seem to be calm, cool and collected about the whole thing adding on Facebook, “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.”
Cowell offers much the same sentiment. “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,” he said on Facebook.
Pop bands have had a history of losing members along the way ultimately leading to the demise of their career. Spice Girls only managed one more album after the departure of Geri “Ginger Spice” Halliwell in 1998 and S Club 7 disbanded pretty quickly after their seventh member Paul Cattermole quit in 2002 and left them with no use for the 7 at the end of their name.
Despite this, One Direction have insisted, “The four of us will continue. We’re looking forward to recording the new album and seeing all the fans on the next stage of the world tour.”
So far it looks as if the band will continue as a foursome without replacing Malik, however, fans were shocked this morning after One Direction’s Wikipedia page was updated with former Panic! At The Disco guitarist and songwriter Ryan Ross as the replacement, as Alternative Press points out. The overwhelming response on Twitter by heated Directioners has been, “DO YOU HAVE AN IDEA WHO THE HELL IS RYAN ROSS?”
Ross has since updated his Twitter bio to read, “NOT in 1D.”