R.I.P. 1D

(From left to right) Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles
(From left to right) Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles

By: Amanda & Julia Klotz

On March 25, 2015, popular boyband One Direction lost one of it’s members – Zayn Malik.  Malik decided to leave after five years of being with the band. There have been numerous cases regarding select members of popular bands breaking apart like John Lennon secretly leaving the Beatles in 1969 or Ginger Spice leaving the Spice Girls in 1998. It is not until the moment actually arrives, that fans are hit with the realization that what they was thought impossible has manifested and become reality.

Millions of fans are left devastated after reading Malik’s statement posted by One Direction’s management-run Facebook page yesterday mid-afternoon. “I feel like now is the right time for me to leave the band,” Malik says, “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 also apologizes to his fans in his statement.  “My life with One Direction has been more than I could ever have imagined,” he wrote. “But, after five years, I feel like it is now the right time for me to leave the band. I’d like to apologize to the fans if I’ve let anyone down, but I have to do what feels right in my heart.”

Band member Harry Styles comforts hurt fans through social media.
Band member Harry Styles comforts hurt fans through social media.

Much controversy has surfaced due to Malik’s abrupt decision to leave One Direction. Several assumptions have been made, falsely accusing Zayn of quitting due to relationship troubles and personal issues occurring outside of the band. Millions of saddened fans have shed many tears. On social media, a considerable amount of these fans have taken to forms of self harm and, in some cases, suicide in attempts to cope with the loss of their beloved band member. Hashtags like #AlwaysInOurHeartsZaynMalik have stormed Twitter, having close to 4 million tweets.

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Liam Payne expresses his emotions on the subject of his fellow band member Zayn.

The support fans have for these boys is immortal. Never will they stop unconditionally supporting these boys, whether they are together or apart, nor will they stop appreciating the success they have achieved over these past years. Jumping to conclusions and irrational accusations should halt; the focus should turn to the conflict Zayn experienced when faced with this decision. To prioritize one’s well-being and mental health above a career as a member of a boy band, speaks volumes. To have such a broad and immense fan base that will be affected by such a decision, yet still make the choice to leave, shows  Zayn’s wisdom at just 22 years of age.

Band member Louis Tomlinson shares his thoughts to his 19 million Twitter followers.
Band member Louis Tomlinson shares his thoughts to his 19 million Twitter followers.

The media, other popular artists, and most importantly the general public, should not criticize Zayn for his actions, but should understand and support the situation at hand.

Many disregard the consequences of publicly posting opinions on the matter when no one actually knows the “real” story of Zayn’s absence and departure from the band. No one can confidently claim to know the true reason for Zayn’s decision; only he knows the reason behind it. In the words of the artist himself, “Just because someone’s not there at a specific moment in time, that doesn’t mean they can’t be there when they need to be..”

Fellow friend and co-songwriter to One Direction, Ed Sheeran, speaks his mind on Zayn's decision to leave the band.
Fellow friend and co-songwriter to One Direction, Ed Sheeran, speaks his mind on Zayn’s decision to leave the band.

The remaining four members will continue to perform on their sold out international arena tour for the rest of 2015 and are set to perform this weekend in South Africa.  However, the emotions seem to be getting the best of them.  As seen in the video below, the always charismatic Harry Styles becomes overwhelmed with emotion in the middle of one of the songs and tries to quickly wipe away fallen tears and shield his face with his arm as he eventually turns away from the crowd.

 

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