One Direction announced the departure of Zayn Malik in a Facebook post Wednesday.
"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. I know I have four friends for life in Louis, Liam, Harry and Niall. I know they will continue to be the best band in the world," Malik said in a statement.
His band members say they respect his decision, but are "really sad". Already last week, Malik departed from their world tour because of “stress".