Zayn Malik Leaves One Direction After 5 Years, Is Ready To Live His Life Like A "Normal 22-Year-Old"

Well, that didn't take long. According to One Direction's Facebook page, Zayn Malik is leaving One Direction for good. On Wednesday, Malik, alongside Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne, and Niall Horan, announced the major news that will surely leave fans sad and shocked. The statement is quite lengthy, but Malik, the four guys, and even Simon Cowell, who helped discover and form 1D on The X Factor, reacted the news separately. The first part of the statement reads:

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.

As for Malik, he announced he's ready to live a "normal" life and he feels like this is the best decision. 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.

Of course, Styles, Payne, Horan, and Tomlinson are being supportive of Malik's choice. They said, "We're really sad to see Zayn go, but we totally respect his decision and send him all our love for the future." They also promise to "always be friends." They will continue as a four-member band, who will record a new album and will continue with their world tour.

Malik's exit shouldn't come as a huge surprise, especially since he decided to leave the world tour due to "stress." He also made headlines when there were rumors of Malik cheating on his fiancée Perrie Edwards. Also, there was all that news of the Philippine Bureau of Immigration requesting Malik and Louis Tomlinson post “weed bonds” around $5,000 each in order to perform in their country.

Soon after Malik quitting the world tour, there was speculation about if he'd leave the band too. Well, now we have our answer.

Former American Idol judge Cowell had nothing but kind words to say about Malik's exit. 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.
FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

I can only imagine how 1D fans are reacting, especially since they are very passionate about these five young men. However, seeing as most sent positive thoughts Malik's way after he left the tour, I'm sure fans will continue to send him good vibes and, hopefully, support his decision.

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