LONDON (CelebrityAccess) — Hugely popular UK boy band One Direction announced that Zayn Malik has left the group. The group said that they will continue to perform as a four-piece and will complete the remaining concerts on their current world tour.
Zayn said in a post on the group's website: "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."
A spokesperson for One Direction added: "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."
Malik announced last week that he was pulling out of the group's tour, just ahead of a show in the Philippines. The group cited stress as the reason for his withdrawal but news of Malik's departure came amidst pressure from the government and advocacy groups in the Philippines for the group to undergo drug tests ahead of their performance.- Staff Writers