Zayn Malik

Born in 1993, Zayn Malik rose to fame as one-fifth of the English boy band phenomenon One Direction. It all began when Malik and his soon-to-be bandmates -- Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne and Niall Horan -- auditioned for the seventh season of the English talent competition series, The X Factor, as solo acts. They were all cut, but upon the suggestion of the judges, the fivesome teamed up to form a single unit dubbed One Direction. The boys ultimately made it to third place, and though they didn't win the grand prize, their career has since proven to be one of the biggest success stories to emerge from TV talent competitions. One Direction released their debut, Up All Night, in 2011, which harbored their breakthrough single, “What Makes You Beautiful.” Over the course of three more albums, Malik became the requisite bad boy of the group due to his smoldering gaze and predilection for tattoos. Rumors also brewed that Malik was unhappy in the group after he announced he wouldn’t be joining 1D on tour in 2015. Soon after, he revealed he would be leaving the band for good. More rumors surfaced, this time suggesting that Malik was working on new solo material with Naughty Boy.

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