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Zayn Malik quits One Direction 3 days before SA tour

2015-03-25 19:35

London - Zayn Malik has quit One Direction days before the band was due in SA.

The 22-year-old singer - who left the group's world tour last week due to stress - has announced he is leaving the band to lead a "normal" life out of the spotlight.

According to Reuters the decision by Malik to quit came after he dropped out of an Asian tour due to what he said was stress when pictures of the singer, who is engaged to Perrie Edwards of Little Mix, were published showing him partying with another woman in Thailand.

He 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 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."

One Direction, who are currently on a world tour, have sold more than 50 million records and had 91 number one hits globally.

The remaining members of the group - Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, Niall Horan and Harry Styles - will continue as a four-piece and have reassured fans that their world tour and recording of their fifth album will still go ahead.

They said in a statement: "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."


Last week Malik flew home from a tour stop in the Philippines, citing stress.

AP reported before his departure authorities in the Philippines imposed a $5 000 "weed bond" on Malik and fellow band member Tomlinson, with the money to be forfeited if either of them was caught using or promoting illegal drugs.

A video that circulated online last year appeared to show Malik and Tomlinson smoking cannabis and joking about drug use.

Simon Cowell, who signed the group to his Syco label after they came third on The X Factor in 2010, admitted he is "truly sorry" to see Zayn leave but is confident the group still have a bright future ahead of them.

He 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. As for One Direction, fans can rest assured that ‎Niall, Liam, Harry and Louis are hugely excited about the future of the band."

The next scheduled date on One Direction's "One the Road Again" tour is in Johannesburg, South Africa on Saturday.

One Directions fans have taken to Twitter to voice the sadness of Malik's departure. Share your feelings with us @Channel24.

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