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Zayn Malik

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Zayn Malik
Zayn Malik November 2014.jpg
Background information
Birth name Zain Javadd Malik
Born (1993-01-12) 12 January 1993 (age 22)
Bradford, England, United Kingdom
  • Singer
  • songwriter
Instruments Vocals
Years active 2010–present
Associated acts One Direction

Zain Javadd "Zayn" Malik (born 12 January 1993)[1] is an English singer and songwriter, known as a previous member of the boy band One Direction. In 2010, Malik auditioned as a solo artist for the British television series The X Factor. After being eliminated as a solo performer, Malik was brought back into the competition, along with four other contestants, to form the group that would later become known as One Direction. During his time in One Direction, Malik, along with his bandmates, had released four commercially successful albums, performed on a worldwide tour, and won several awards. In March 2015, Malik's representative announced his departure from the band.

Early life

Zain Javadd "Zayn" Malik,[2] born (1993-01-12) 12 January 1993 (age 22),[3] is from Bradford, West Yorkshire, England.[4] His father, Yaser Malik, is British Pakistani, and his mother, Tricia (née Brannan) Malik, is a white English woman of Irish and English descent.[5] He has one older sister, Doniya, and two younger sisters, Waliyha and Safaa.[6][7] Malik grew up in East Bowling, located south of the Bradford city centre. He attended Lower Fields Primary School and Tong High School in Bradford.[8] As a teenager he took performing arts courses and appeared in school productions. Malik did not fit in at his first two schools due to his mixed heritage. Malik has stated that he started taking pride in his appearance after moving schools at the age of twelve.[9]


2010–15: The X Factor and One Direction

Main article: One Direction
Malik with One Direction on The X Factor Live tour in 2011.

In 2010, 17-year-old Malik auditioned in Manchester for the seventh series of reality-television competition The X Factor. He sang "Let Me Love You" by Mario as his audition song,[10] and was accepted into the next round. Upon auditioning for The X Factor, Malik stated: "I was looking for an experience".[11] He was eliminated before the final round of the competition,[12] but judges Nicole Scherzinger and Simon Cowell grouped him with fellow competitors Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson to form a new act for the remainder of the show, called One Direction.[13] For their qualifying song at "judges' houses", and their first song as a group, One Direction sang an acoustic version of "Torn".[14] Simon Cowell later commented that the performance convinced him that the group "were confident, fun, like a gang of friends, and kind of fearless as well."[15] Within the first four weeks of the live shows, they were Cowell's last act in the competition.[16] The group quickly gained popularity in the UK.[15]

One Direction finished in third place and immediately after the final, their song "Forever Young", which would have been released if they had won The X Factor, was leaked onto the internet.[17] Shortly afterwards it was confirmed that One Direction had been signed by Cowell to a reported £2 million Syco Records record contract.[18][19] Recording for their debut album began in January 2011, as they flew to Los Angeles to work with RedOne, a record producer.[20] A book licensed by One Direction, One Direction: Forever Young (Our Official X Factor Story), was published by HarperCollins in February 2011,[21] subsequently topping The Sunday Times Best Seller list.[22] The same month, the boy band and other contestants from the series participated in the X Factor Live Tour.[23] During the tour the group performed for 500,000 people throughout the UK.[24] After the tour concluded in April 2011, the group continued working on their debut album.[20] Recording took place in Stockholm, London and Los Angeles, as One Direction worked with producers Carl Falk, Savan Kotecha, Steve Mac, and Rami Yacoub, among others.[25][26] Styles came up with band name One Direction, which he thought would sound good when The X Factor announcer Peter Dickson read their name out on the live shows.[27]

Malik was an inaugural member of English-Irish pop boy band One Direction, along with Styles, Tomlinson, Horan, and Payne. They subsequently signed in North America with Columbia Records.[28] The group's debut studio album Up All Night was released in November 2011. It topped the charts in sixteen countries. The lead single, "What Makes You Beautiful", was an international hit, reaching number one in the UK and number four in the US; it has since been certified four and six times platinum in the US and Australia, respectively. Subsequent singles, "Gotta Be You" and "One Thing", became top ten hits in the UK. The band's second studio album Take Me Home was released in November 2012.[29] The record sold 540,000 copies in its first week in the US and went to number-one in thirty-five countries.[30][31] The album's lead single, "Live While We're Young", became One Direction's highest peaking song in a number of countries and recorded the highest one-week opening sales figure for a song by a non-US artist.[32] "Little Things" and "Kiss You", the succeeding singles, were moderate successes.

One Direction's third studio album, Midnight Memories, was released on 25 November 2013. The album was preceded by its lead single "Best Song Ever" and its critically acclaimed second single "Story of My Life". The album was a commercial success, debuting at number one on the UK Albums Chart and the Billboard 200, making One Direction the first band in history to have their first three albums all debut atop the Billboard 200. With their fourth album, Four, they extended the record to four consecutive number-one albums. To date, the band has sold 6.49 million albums and 23.7 million singles in the United States.[33] Worldwide, they have sold more than 50 million records.[34] Malik quit the band on 25 March 2015, citing his desire to live as a "normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight", after signing off from the band's On the Road Again Tour for an indefinite period six days prior due to stress. He denied rumors of any rift between the members, explaining that the band had been supportive of the decision.[35][36]

Solo career

In March 2015, Malik was spotted at a London recording studio with rapper Naughty Boy, leading to the speculation of the pair working on music together.[37] Following his departure from One Direction, Malik alluded to the potential of a solo career, with the release of his first solo studio album to be released under the Syco label in 2016.[38][39] On 31 March 2015, Naughty Boy released an early demo of the song "I Won't Mind", said to feature Malik on Soundcloud.[40]

Artistry and image

Malik cites urban music as his main musical influence, growing up, he was into R&B and rap. He as well as other members of One Direction further notes artists such as Bruno Mars, as a "dream collaborator".[41][42]

Malik was known as the "Bradford Bad Boy" of One Direction, due to his mischievous behaviour, his many tattoos and rock star hairstyles.[43][44] Since prior to X-Factor, Malik has been a huge fan of tattoos, saying that he likes "getting tattoos and that he loves the whole culture behind them."[9] His first tattoo was revealed on his Twitter account. Malik got his grandfather's name inked in Arabic "والتر". Since then, Malik has had several tattoos.[45] Malik has been recognised as a male sex symbol by numerous publications, in 2011 he was ranked third on Sugarscape's Hottest Lads of 2011,[46] the following year Malik was ranked seventh on the Hottest Lads of 2012[47] and twenty seven on Glamour World's Sexiest Man list.[48]

Personal life

Malik in November 2014

Malik previously dated fellow The X Factor contestant Rebecca Ferguson, which caused controversy due to the six-year age difference. The relationship ended after four months together.[49] Following his breakup with Ferguson he began dating Perrie Edwards of Little Mix and is currently engaged to her.[50] Malik supports Manchester United.[51][52] He also supports Pakistan's national cricket team.[53]

Malik is Muslim, and he was criticised, on Twitter, by conservative Muslims, for not taking Islamic doctrine seriously enough.[54][55]


Studio albums with One Direction


Year Title Role
2010 The X Factor Contestant/Himself (Series 7)
2012 iCarly Himself (Season 6, Episode 2)
Saturday Night Live Himself (Season 37, Episode 18)
2013 One Direction: This Is Us Himself
Saturday Night Live Himself (Season 39, Episode 8)
2014 Where We Are - The Concert Film Himself
Saturday Night Live Himself (Season 40, Episode 10)
One Direction: The TV Special Himself


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