On March 25, 2015 Zayn quit One Direction during the On The Road Again Tour. The band were playing in Asia at the time and their last public performance was in Hong Kong, China. Zayn’s announcements shocked the public and the band’s dedicated fans. After the official announcement, the rest of the band, Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson and Niall Horan remained quiet for some time before breaking their silence on the matter.
Liam was the first member of the band to respond to the news on social media the following day.
He told his Twitter followers at the time: “So glad to be in bed after a long and strange 24 hours.”
Harry followed with a short-yet-sweet sentiment to his followers.
He said: “All the love as always. H.”
Harry went on: “Because I think at the time, too, the tour and everything was going so well and everyone had kind of got to this place where everyone was kind of living in a way where they, I think, felt pretty good. It felt like everyone was kind of enjoying it.
“We were about to start recording a new album and stuff and it was like: ‘Are we recording this without him?’
“But I’d say in the moment, I guess the four of us became closer because we were like: ‘OK, this is a hurdle that we weren’t expecting.’”
When Zayn left the band he put out a statement detailing why he made the decision on the official 1D Facebook page.
Zayn said: “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. 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.”
The remaining band members wrote: “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.”