“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,” says the singer

By March 25, 2015

Zayn Malik has quit One Direction following five years with the boy band.

In a statement posted on the group’s official Facebook page, Malik announced his departure from the group. “My life with One Direction has been more than I could ever have imagined,” he wrote. “But, after five years, I feel like it is now the right time for me to leave the band. I’d like to apologize 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,” he added. “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 Facebook post also contained statements from One Direction and Simon Cowell, who put the group together in 2010 during their season on the UK show X-Factor. Malik’s former group plan to continue recording, with the remaining members promising fans a new album. “We’re really sad to see Zayn go, but we totally respect his decision and send him all our love for the future,” the group wrote. “The past five years have been beyond amazing, we’ve gone through so much together, so we will always be friends.” Cowell thanked Malik for his contributions to the group.
The news follows Malik’s recent exit from the band’s current world tour, where he cited “stress” as the reason for his leave. Last year, the singer had co-written songs with UK artist Naughty Boy, including “One Chance to Dance” which One Direction had planned to record.

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