Will One Direction Break Up Now That Zayn Malik Is Gone? The Future Of The Band Might Be Uncertain

As most fans of the band have likely heard by now, longtime member Zayn Malik has officially left One Direction. It's absolutely shocking news that seemingly came out of nowhere — though Malik did leave the band's tour earlier this month citing stress, it was assumed (and even said by other members of the band) that Malik would eventually return. Now, however, Malik has released a statement confirming his departure, so it's definitely real — as shocking and difficult to fathom as it is. With his departure, now, comes a few questions: What will the band do now that Malik has left, and, the biggie, will One Direction break up without Zayn?

Fortunately for fans, according to statements released by remaining One Direction members Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Liam Payne, and Louis Tomlinson, that does not seem to be the case at this point. While of course, things can always change rather quickly — the fact that Malik went from just leaving a world tour to leaving the band all together in the course of a week is proof enough of this — according to the statement, the band will continue on without Malik. The statement, in full:

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.

The band's Facebook page also attached a status with a similar statement:

After five incredible years Zayn Malik has decided to leave OneDirection. Niall, Harry, Liam and Louis will continue as...Posted by One Direction on Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Based off the band's statement and the Facebook note, there's likely no reason for One Direction fans to panic — at least, moreso than they understandably are already. Even Malik's statement seemed to imply that the band will go on without him (and without replacing him):

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.

Based off this evidence, it seems that the band has every intention of moving forward without Malik — just as many pop acts have done in the past. The Spice Girls and S Club 7, for instance, both went through similar situations where a founding member left the band, and they still continued on as a group. One Directioners are likely going through an extremely tough time at the moment coming to terms with this news, but at least we can all rest assured that the band will still continue making music together in the future.