Zayn Malik is leaving boy band One Direction, news that came less than a week after he announced he would be stepping away from the band’s current “On the Road Again” tour due to stress.
“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,” Malik said in a statement the band released on Facebook.
Despite One Direction losing one of its five founding band members, the remaining four — Niall Horan, Harry Styles, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson — will continue to perform together and produce music under the same name.
One Direction to Continue Touring, Recording Without Malik
While fans have expressed dismay over Malik’s exit from the band, he had been under stress for some time. He and bandmate Tomlinson landed in a controversy over alleged drug use while on tour in the Philippines, and the country even placed a $5,000 “weed bond” on each of the men which it would keep if either was caught using or promoting illegal drugs, according to The New York Times. Amid this controversy, combined with tabloid coverage of Malik’s romantic life, he decided the stress was too much.
Now his exit comes in the middle of a tour for the band, of which the average price of a ticket on the secondary market to a North American show is $249, reports Forbes. With Malik out of One Direction, the band could see declines in ticket sales, but so far prices and demand have held steady, reports Forbes.
One Direction might experience some adjustments with Malik’s exit, but by all appearances the band will continue to be successful despite his departure, and the remaining members are planning to record the fifth One Direction album later this year.
Will Zayn Malik’s $23 Million Net Worth Continue to Grow?
But what will Zayn Malik’s finances look like now that he’s left One Direction, the band that made him famous and also made him a multi-millionaire? Zayn Malik’s net worth is estimated to be $23 million, earned through his five years in the band and millions of albums sold. His $23 million fortune is certainly enough for him to live comfortably and pursue almost any interests he has. Even though Malik has made it clear that his exit from One Direction is to step away from the spotlight, rumors are swirling that Malik plans to pursue a solo career.
A track from D.J. Naughty Boy features solo vocals by Zayn Malik, leading many to speculate that Malik left One Direction for his own record deal, according to E! Online.
“We’re making music and having fun,” Naughty Boy said of his collaboration with Zayn Malik. “This is just like a side gig and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. It’s a good time for Zayn to showcase what he can really do. I don’t think that is being fully exploited with the band because there are five people and it needs to be balanced out.”
Rapper and producer 50 Cent even offered Malik a solo record deal if he decided to transition to rap, reports Music Times. “If Zayn wants a rap career, just because of who he is, he is going to sell records,” 50 Cent said.
As 50 Cent points out, a successful career and years more of making millions are there for the taking if Zayn Malik wants to go solo. For now, however, it sounds like Malik just wants a break.