by Jenna Mullins | Fri., Mar. 25, 2016 6:00 AM
Let us gather, people of the Internet. Today is the one year anniversary of Z-Day, aka the day that Zayn Malik announced he was leaving One Direction for other pursuits, which turned out to be a solo career. It was a dark day in our history as a human race.
But before you light your "Harry Styles' sweat" scented candle in remembrance, it's important that we take a look at all the stuff that went down since Zayn broke off from the group. Someone had a baby! Someone died their hair bright green! Breakups! A feud with Justin Bieber started! And, oh yeah, a boyband went on hiatus and broke millions of hearts around the world. S--t has been cray since Z-Day. (That rhymed, you guys!)
Anyway, here's your official Z-Day anniversary timeline:
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images
-Zayn announces he's leaving One Direction to "be a normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight." He calls Louis, Liam, Harry and Niall his "four friends for life." One Direction confirms they will continue as a four-man group.
-The One Direction fanbase promptly loses its collective mind and Twitter basically implodes. They also throw blame on his then-fiancée Perrie Edwards and bestow upon her the title of the "modern day Yoko Ono."
-Harry Styles is spotted crying during the first concert 1D performed after Zayn's announcement.
-Zayn is cut from the introductory video that plays at One Direction's concerts.
-One Direction gives first interview since the split. Liam Payne reveals that Zayn leaving has been "the toughest few weeks" since the band was started. "We're gutted that Zayn chose to leave," he says. "But now after a few performances as a four piece, we're feeling confident and are determined to carry on stronger than ever."
-One Direction releases a poster promoting their "On the Road Again" tour. It's the first piece of official art that features the foursome.
-Zayn makes his first public appearance since the split at the 2015 Asian Awards. While accepting the Outstanding Achievement in Music award, he thanks the guys of One Direction, calling them "four of the best guys that I ever met."
-Zayn erases all traces of his One Direction past from his social media accounts. Fans do not handle the change well at all.
-Zayn gets involved with the Twitter feud between Louis and Naughty Boy. He tweets at his former band member: "Remember when you had a life and stopped making bitchy comments about mine?" Oof.
-One Direction makes their first TV appearance since Zayn left the band by appearing on The Late Late Show with James Corden. Liam talks about the Twitter feud, admitting he's "never been good at biting my tongue," but that the issues between the three guys were resolved. Oh, and also, they played dodgeball in tiny, red shorts.
-Zayn debuts a funky, new hairstyle on Instagram: a lime green buzz cut.
-Zayn's cover of Rae Sremmurd's "No Type" leaks online. It's the first time fans hear Zayn's solo work.
-The hashtag #Zayniscomingback trends on Twitter, leading fans to believe that Zayn will come back to the group. Alas, it's just a rumor and fans cannot handle the rollercoaster of emotions.
-During the first American show since Zayn's departure, Harry spectacularly falls on his face because of course he does.
-Zayn calls out his own producer, Naughty Boy, for leaking "No Type." He tweets at him: "You fat joke stop pretending we're friends no one knows you."
-Zayn signs with RCA Music and says that he left 1D to make "real music."
-Baby bombshell! Louis Tomlinson reveals that he's expecting a baby with Los Angeles-based stylist, Briana Jungwirth.
-Harry pens a sweet letter to fans for the band's five-year anniversary. "To you who support us, in any way, thank you," he tweets. "We wouldn't be here without you. You did this and we thank you for having us."
-One Direction releases "Drag Me Down," their first single as a foursome.
-Zayn Malik and Perrie Edwards call off their engagement and break up.
-One Direction crops Zayn out of a #TBT photo, which some fans take as a diss to their former band member.
-Zayn is linked to Burberry model Neelam Gill less than one month after announcing split with Perrie.
-One Direction announces the title and release date of their last album before their extended break. Fans have too much fun cracking jokes about Made in the A.M. but most are very emotional about seeing an album cover without Zayn.
-Justin Bieber shades 1D a little bit with a Snapchat that pokes fun at the fact that his album comes out the same day as Made in the A.M. Bieber vs. 1D begins!
-Liam Payne and girlfriend Sophia Smith break up after dating for over two years.
-Harry says that the upcoming Made in the A.M. will be the best record the group has ever put out. He also reveals that the guys haven't made plans for their hiatus besides finishing up the tour.
David Fisher/Rex/REX USA
-One Direction performs their final show before the long holiday break. It's an emotional concert, and the guys once again insist to fans that they aren't breaking up, "just taking a break."
-"History," a song dedicated to the 1D fanbase, is released and Directioners drown in feels.
-Made in the A.M., perhaps One Direction's final album, drops.
-Liam lets it slip during an interview that the guys might take a break for a whole two years.
-Zayn's sexy, shirtless photoshoot with Fader debuts, and fans get their first official preview of his solo album.
-One Direction says farewell to the states with their final U.S. show before their hiatus. "This is going to be the last time for a little while," Liam tells the crowd. "I feel myself getting a little emotional."
-Harry records four songs without One Direction and unveils a giant eagle tattoo.
-Zayn celebrates his 23rd birthday just days before the release of his first solo single.
-Liam teases fans on Instagram by posting a "little song" he wrote, but didn't confirm if he was pursuing a solo career.
-Louis becomes one proud papa and welcomes a son with Briana Jungwirth.
-One Direction releases a very nostalgic video for "History," and it features footage of Zayn before he left the group. Aw!
-Zayn cancels his first solo TV appearance with The Graham Norton Show due to "unforeseen scheduling conflicts."
-Louis reveals that his baby's name is Freddie and we get a first look at the adorable little lad on his Instagram page.
-Zayn drops the steamy video for his first solo single, "Pillowtalk," and it features girlfriend Gigi.
-Zayn finally confirms that Gigi is his girlfriend.
-Just in time for Valentine's Day, Zayn dyes his hair pink.
-While appearing on The Tonight Show, Zayn performs his new single "It's You."
-Liam is linked with X Factor U.K. judge Cheryl Fernandez-Versi. And they certainly aren't afraid of showing off their relationship.
-Zayn releases a sexy new track called "Like I Would."
-Zayn does an interview with NME magazine where he admits that he's not close anymore with his former One Direction pals. "I tried to have contact but nobody's reached out," he said. "So…whatever."
Phew! That's a lot of stuff that happened in just one year! Babies and breakups and shakeups and singles...we're tired just reading all of it. What's to come for Zayn and One Direction in 2016? Only time will tell. But hopefully not too much because after this past year, it seems like these guys need a break.
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