Zayn Malik is leaving One Direction.

“After five incredible years Zayn Malik has decided to leave One Direction,” the band said on its Facebook page and tweeted out to its 22.9 million Twitter followers.

“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.”

The band’s Wikipedia page was also quickly updated with a sentence, “Zayn Malik was formerly a member.”British+Boy+Band+One+Direction+Outside

Malik, 22, has been part of the very popular British boy band since it was formed (at the urging of Simon Cowell, according to some stories) in 2010 after members auditioned separately for the UK version of “The X Factor.” Cowell became a mentor and signed them to his label. The group has put out four albums, and its hits include “Best Song Ever” and “Story of My Life.”

The group’s latest album, “Four,” came out in November.
One Direction will continue their world tour as a four piece and record a fifth album later this year.
Last week, Malik walked away from the band’s world tour after being signed off with stress.
He returned to the UK shortly after being forced to defend his relationship with his fiancee, Little Mix singer Perrie Edwards.

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