Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
If it didn't feel real before, it might start to sink it now...
Zayn Malik has been officially cut from One Direction's introductory video montage that plays during the band's concerts, according to The Independent. The boys performed for the first time Saturday night in Johannesburg, South Africa, without Malik, where fans got a glimpse of what life would be like without him in 1D.
Heartthrob Harry Styles told the crowd, "You have no idea how much we love you right now." Fellow bandmates Niall Horan and Louis Tomlinson have reportedly taken over during Malik's solos. Although he first said he was leaving the band to live life as "a normal 22-year-old," he later said in an interview with The Sun that he's already working on solo music.
"I can't do this anymore," he said. "I'm feeling quite interesting," Malik told the U.K. publication. "Let's say that."
According to Billboard magazine, Malik had signed with Simon Cowell's record company Syco as both a member of 1D and individually, which provided a "leaving member clause" in the group's contract that gave the label the option to keep the "Steal My Girl" singer as a solo artist.
But when news first broke that Malik would be leaving 1D, there were other people besides the fans who were completely devastated; his own bandmates couldn't even handle the news! Styles broke down into tears while onstage during 1D's Jakarta concert, but despite the heavy-hearted emotions, the band released an official statement in which the boys reassured fans that they would continue onwards.
"The four of us will now continue," the statement said. "We're looking forward to recording the new album and seeing all the fans on the next stage of the world tour."
So rest easy, Directioners! Your favorite boys will still continue to bless your ears with music even if your eyes can't help but notice the empty space where Malik used to stand. No need to continue the mourning. Plus, if he's working on new music, there's always a chance we can hear his soothing vocals sometime soon!