Heartbreaker Zayn Malik has left British boy band One Direction.
But the group says it will continue without him.
Needless to say, there have been tears. A lot of tears.
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Malik apologised to fans for leaving the global sensations, but said he had to do “what feels right”.
“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,” he said in a statement released by the band on its social media networks.
“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.”
The remaining members of the band – Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Niall Horan – sent Malik love.
“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,” they said.
Harry Styles, owner of perhaps the world’s most famous man bun, was seen crying on stage in front of fans in Jakarta just hours after the news that one fifth of his band has departed.
You’ll always be in my heart @zaynmalik No matters what’s happened, you’ll always be my hero , my idol , my everything . I love u so much
— Zayn Malik, always. (@MalikwithStyles) March 25, 2015
One Direction, who are currently on a world tour, have sold more than 50 million records and had 91 number one hits globally.
Malik, who is engaged to Little Mix pop star Perrie Edwards, quit the tour earlier this month due to stress after pictures appeared online showing him close to another woman.
— THANK YOU ZAYN♡♡♡♡♡ (@samayoa_es1D) March 25, 2015
Even Queensland’s Police Media unit couldn’t help but poke fun at the band’s despairing fans.
The band was formed during British talent show The X Factor in 2010 before achieving global success.
Their followers, known as ‘Directioners’ are considered some of the world’s most devoted fans.
— taylor ☹ (@loxftstyles) March 25, 2015
NSW Premier Mike Baird joined the conversation, but it seems Mr Baird is not a big 1D fan.
They are signed to Syco Music, founded by British music mogul and talent show supremo Simon Cowell.
– with AAP