After five years, Zayn Malik announces he is leaving One Direction

Zayn Malik is saying Bye, Bye, Bye to One Direction after five years of touring and making music with his bandmates. "My life with One Direction has been more than I could ever have imagined," Zayn said in a statement. "But, after five years, I feel like it is now the right time for me to leave the band."

While it is certain that 1Ders aren't keen on this news, he continued: "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."

Photo: Getty Images

One Direction was formed in 2010 by Simon Cowell. They each auditioned separately on the seventh season of UK's The X Factor, but were bought back together to compete in the group's category.

The band also expressed their sentiments: "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."

Simon said: "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."

Photo: Getty Images

The group will continue as a foursome. Simon added, "As for One Direction, fans can rest assured that ‎Niall, Liam, Harry and Louis are hugely excited about the future of the band."

Best of luck Zayn.

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