Update, 3/25/15: A nightmare I had once in 2011 and refused to talk about, just in case, has been confirmed. Zayn Malik, the light of One Direction, has quit the band. The band confirmed the departure in a statement on Facebook: “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.”
Zayn added, “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 timeout of the spotlight… I know they will continue to be the best band in the world.”
There have been the obvious rumors that Zayn will embark on a solo career. He raps on an upcoming Naughty Boy album, which is, um, something. Please, Zayn, be the Justin Timberlake of this situation.
Thousands of teens will skip 9th period today in honor of One Direction‘s Zayn Malik, who has unceremoniously quit the band’s world tour due to stress. The Daily Mail reports that Malik had to fly home from Hong Kong due to “the stress of media speculation on his private life.” We can all agree this adorable, wealthy 22-year-old and his perfect hair should never have anything to fret about. Perhaps Malik is a stress addict, like many workaholics?
Malik’s stress (and all that media scrutiny) is a result of recent photos that show him with a blonde woman other than his fiancé, Perrie Edwards. HollywoodLife has identified the woman as Lauren Rich.
— AndrSof (@andrsof1011) March 19, 2015
Malik has denied the allegations.
I’m 22 years old… I love a girl named Perrie Edwards. And there’s a lot of jealous fucks in this world I’m sorry for what it looks like x
— zaynmalik1D (@zaynmalik) March 18, 2015
“Zayn has been signed off with stress and is flying back to the UK to recuperate. The band wish him well and will continue with their performances in Manila and Jakarta,” the band’s rep Simon Jones said on Twitter.
Zayn is hardly the first celeb to fall victim to the stress or “stress” of fame, but the poor thing is only 22. (Wait, why is he engaged again?) Niall, Louis, Liam, and Harry, please take our stress quiz before it’s too late. If anxiety is affecting your everyday life, step off the tour bus. Manila can wait. One more stress hack for those of you who may relate to Zayn’s plight: Set aside a few times a day to check your email inbox, and ignore it the rest of the time. And next time your boss asks you to work late, just ask “Remember what happened to Zayn?”
As Malik sings in the band’s moodiest and most underrated song, “Nothing can come between you and I, not even the gods above can separate the two of us.” Directioners, keep those words in your mind and in your heart as we proceed without Zayn.
READ MORE: How to Know If You’re Addicted to Stress