While Directioners around the world have been left heartbroken after hearing that Zayn Malik is leaving One Direction, Simon Cowell, who signed the band, expressed his gratitude to Malik.
“I would like to say thank you to Zayn for everything he has done for One Direction. Since I first met Zayn in 2010, I have grown very, very fond - and immensely proud - of him. I have seen him grow in confidence and I am truly sorry to see him leave,” reads Cowell’s statement.
He added on Twitter:
Sometimes strength is not defined by numbers.— Simon Cowell (@SimonCowell) March 26, 2015
As always you the fans have shown your amazing support to all the boys. When you have great talent great things happen.— Simon Cowell (@SimonCowell) March 26, 2015
One Direction stars Liam Payne and Harry Styles tweeted, suspectedly in reaction to the departure of their bandmate.
So glad to be in bed after a long and strange 24 hours— Liam (@Real_Liam_Payne) March 26, 2015
All the love as always. H— Harry Styles. (@Harry_Styles) March 26, 2015
English rapper Tinie Tempah and YouTube star Zoella both tweeted their shock at the news:
Zayn left one direction!? Wishing him all the best. Watch a random deep RnB/Rap EP drop out of nowhere!— Tinie Tempah (@TinieTempah) March 25, 2015
WAIT WHAT?? Am I hearing this correctly? Zayn has quit One Direction? :(— Zoë (@ZozeeBo) March 25, 2015
Gary Barlow was quick to offer his support. His band, Take That, had split up once, but got back together.
Sending my best to all the 1D boys ! #thatters we've all been there haven't we ? !!!!!— Gary Barlow (@GaryBarlow) March 25, 2015
Some former X Factor contestants sent their well wishes on Twitter, including Matt Cardle, JLS’s Aston Merrygold and Union J's Josh Cuthbert.
Sad to hear about Zayn leaving 1D. Cool fella with a wicked voice. Wish him the best of luck @zaynmalik— Josh Cuthbert (@JoshUJWorld) March 25, 2015
McFly's Harry Judd called it a “brave decision”.
Bum out news for 1D fans Sad to see Zayn go but you gotta do what you gotta do. Brave decision— Harry Judd (@mcflyharry) March 25, 2015
Meanwhile, English rapper and singer-songwriter Professor Green is eager to take Malik’s place.
Got some big news guys, I’m replacing Zayn in 1D.— Professor Green (@professorgreen) March 25, 2015
But he’ll face some serious competition like US actor John Stamos
Comedian and The Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon also has his eyes on the job
Malik’s departure doesn’t seem to hit X Factor judge Louis Walsh as a surprise. In an interview with Irish radio station RTE Radio One, Walsh admitted that he had heard rumours for a while that “everything wasn’t happy in paradise.”
"The problem with these guys is they've been in a bubble for the last five years, pressure, working, a lot harder than people think, so something had to give. So Zayn was the first person just to crack up a little bit…. Now it's everybody's dream, everybody loves it but there's an awful lot of pressure with it too," he added.