“It is a national tragedy,” freshman Kaelin Dooley joked about the recent news regarding Zayn Malik, a member of the world’s biggest boy band, leaving One Direction.
Dooley continued, “It isn’t actually a national tragedy, but I’m very sad about it.”
The band, consisting of Niall Horan, Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson and now former member Malik, formed on the show “The X Factor,” where it won third place and then signed with Simon Cowell’s record label Syco Records.
The band has released four albums “Up All Night” (2010), “Take Me Home” (2012), “Midnight Memories (2013) and the most recent album “Four” (2014). The band has toured for each of these albums and is currently doing a stadium tour called On the Road Again Tour.
Everything with the band had been going smoothly, the tour going well (even scheduled to play in Kansas City, at Arrowhead Stadium on July 28), and then pictures were put on social media and rumors of Malik cheating on his fiancé Perrie Edwards, one of the singers of the band Little Mix. These were pictures of Malik with his arm around Brit Lauren Richardson’s waist and holding her hand. There were also pictures of Malik with Swedish model Martina Olsson, who said they were intimate in a tour stop in Thailand. These resulted in Malik tweeting “I’m 22 years old… I love a girl named Perrie Edwards. And there’s a lot of jealous f***s in this world. I’m sorry for what it looks like x.”
The next day Malik announced he would not continue the Asia leg of the tour (March 18-25) due to stress. Fans on Twitter believe the rumors caused him to panic and need a break. The fans on social media felt guilty for driving him to take a break.
Then on March 25, Malik said on the band’s Facebook page he was leaving One Direction because he wanted to live like a “normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight.” He added in an interview with the The Sun, his first since leaving, “I feel like I’ve let the fans down, but I can’t do this anymore,” and how he isn’t acting like the “real” him.
As one can imagine, fans everywhere were shocked and wondered what led him to leave the band.
The remaining guys in One Direction said, “The four of us will now continue. We’re looking forward to recording the new album and seeing all the fans on the stage of the world tour,” but their fans still asked if they would really stay together and if they could be as big as they are now without Malik.
Horan, Payne, Tomlinson and Styles have all tweeted “thank yous” to the fans for all the support.
Tomlinson who is known as the member who tends to say what he thinks, nice or not. He got into a fight on Twitter with rapper/producer Naughty Boy (real name Shahid Khan), who had been rumored to be working with Malik on separate projects away from the band for months.
They were tweeting back and forth until Naughty Boy tweeted, “Let the music do the talking guys. thank us later. 🙂 x” with a link to a soundcloud song titled “I Won’t Mind” by Malik. This sparked fans minds to wonder if Malik actually wants to live a “normal life” or if he just wanted to get out of his contract with Syco and the One Direction boys to go solo.
Tweeting that song made One Direction fans tweet angry things to Naughty Boy, and he later took the track off soundcloud.
“I feel like its kind of unfair for the girls who already bought tickets,” freshman Iris Redmond said about Malik no longer going on tour.
Sophomore Hannah Fiess from Nerinx Hall said, “I’m not going to any On the Road Again shows, but even if I was, Zayn leaving would not have stopped me from going. I think that Zayn did what he thought was best for him. Although, leaving the group to go solo but saying it was for ‘personal stress’ wasn’t very chill.”
Redmond and Dooley told what they think about “Zaughty,” which is Naughty Boy and Malik’s nickname.
Redmond said, “I don’t really know a lot about Naughty Boy except that he retweeted a Zaughty thing and that makes me not think of him very highly.”
“He’s a sausage,” Dooley said.
Malik hasn’t made any comments or statements since his departure. The rest of the band has continued to tour.