The Pop music world went into total meltdown mode when Zayn Malik of One Direction announced his departure from the band.
It came as a shock to most on Wednesday, March 25 when a post on the One Direction Facebook page read:
“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.”
Devastated fans posted Twitter and Instagram to post their emotional reactions for the world to see, with videos going viral of teens sobbing after hearing the news of Malik’s decision to leave for good.
However, to some, this was no shock since Malik had left just days before to return home to the UK in the middle of their tour in Asia due to stress.
One Direction gained popularity after their stint on the UK version of The X Factor in 2010, where they finished in third place. They soon were signed to Simon Cowell’s record label because of the overwhelming response they received from fans during their progress on the show.
Just a year later they released their first album and began their first worldwide tour, which continued well into 2012 until the release of their next studio album later that year.
The same trend followed the year after that as well in 2013 and 2014 with the release of their follow up third and fourth albums and due to their success, they constantly went back on tour almost immediately after the previous one ended.
All of the non-stop touring and constant living in the limelight was enough to cause Malik to leave without finishing the rest of the tour. He was even amidst rumors about him cheating on his fiancé, Perrie Edwards of Little Mix, to top it all off. This is not the first time there have been rumors of his infidelity, which he has denied both times.
What makes his departure much more devastating to fans than any other band break-up in history is the role that social media and the Internet play in all of this. Now more than ever, celebrities get even less privacy than before since information is so easily accessible and quick to attain.
Many big name bands and artists have gone their separate ways such as Nsync, Destiny’s Child, Spice Girls and even the Beatles.
Although many will argue that these were great artists, none of them reached the heights that One Direction has gone in the short period of time all because of the virtual connection fans of this generation can have to the artists.
Fans can live and breathe every thing One Direction if they so choose to, and with the immense amount of evidence of grief trending on the Internet, they definitely fully invested themselves in the British boy band.
It may be quite ridiculous to some that fans from all over the world are posting videos of themselves or their friends crying over Malik’s decision and begging him to come back, all over the band’s social media, it seems that he may not actually be gone for long.
“I did try to do something that I wasn’t happy doing for a while, for the sake of other people’s happiness,” he said before adding that he has plans to record as a solo artist some time in the future.
Though in the meantime, it may be best for Malik to spend time out of the spotlight. His introverted personality and shy demeanor were evident during their Where We Are Tour, when he rarely smiled and barely spoke at the entire concert held at the Pasadena Rose Bowl in Sept. 2014. He was also absent during a performance a few months later on the Today Show because of what they described as “a tummy bug.”
Right now, the one thing that Malik needs is to live while he’s young and focus on his personal life instead of making the same mistakes, regardless of how much the fans beg and plead.
As for the rest of the band, they are very supportive of his decision to prioritize his life and will continue to go forward without him.