It is a message that will lead to tears in thousands of teenage bedrooms the world over: Just after midnight tonight, 26th of March 2015, the official One Direction Facebook page announced the departure of group member Zayn Malik. The group is set to continue as a four piece.
The statement posted on the official page reads as follows:
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.
Zayn says: “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 say: “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 Cowell says: “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.”
While most people above the age of 25 might now be wondering what the big deal is, the departure of one fifth of this hugely successful and totally manufactured group will leave many of their (mostly female) fans devastated. Kleenex shares are bound to go up sharply as screams of “Nooooooo” and “Don’t leave, Zayn!” can be heard across neighborhoods the world over.
Like or loathe One Direction, the boys have been successful for quite a while now, but just like all boy bands before them, things eventually come to an end. Maybe this is the beginning of the end for One Direction – but don’t worry, Directioners: you’re not the first to go through boy band heartbreak and you won’t be the last. Your parents went through this way before Simon Cowell was even born and subsequently allowed to do unspeakable things to the music industry – just ask them about The Osmonds, or The Beatles, or even New Kids On The Block. It happens. Enjoy the music, look at your favorite poster of the band, and let us know how you feel in the comments.