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Zayn Malik of One Direction leaves One Direction

One Direction member Zayn Malik has decided to quit his band after five years. The members of the British boyband are Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Liam Payne, and Louis Tomlinson will  continue as a four-member group.

Malik, 22, made the decision official on Wednesday, leaving fans shocked and saddedned.

“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,” said Malik in a statement released on the band’s official Facebook page.

“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,” he added.

On the other hand, the remaining members of One Direction said: “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.”

Earlier, before his decision, photos of him with another woman created trouble in his relationship with fiancee Perrie Edwards, best known as a member of the band Little Mix.

Malik brought to his official Twitter account to defend himself, saying: “I’m 22 years old… I love a girl named Perrie Edwards. And there’s a lot of jealous ***** in this world I’m sorry for what it looks like x.”

The issue caused the singer to forego the Manila leg of the band’s “On The Road Again Tour.”