Zain Javadd "Zayn" Malik is an English singer and songwriter, and a former 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 the group, Malik, along with his bandmates, released four commercially successful albums, performed on a worldwide tour, and won several awards. In March 2015, Malik's representative announced the singer's departure from the band. In 2015, Malik signed a solo recording contract with RCA Records. Zain Javadd "Zayn" Malik was born on 12 January 1993 in Bradford, West Yorkshire, England.
His father, Yaser Malik, is British Pakistani, and his mother, Tricia Brannan Malik, is English, and converted to Islam upon marriage. He has one older sister, Doniya, and two younger sisters, Waliyha and Safaa. 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. 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 of Pakistani and English. Malik has stated that he started taking pride in his appearance after moving schools at the age of twelve. 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, and was accepted into the next round. Upon auditioning for The X Factor, Malik stated: "I was looking for an experience".
He was eliminated before the final round of the competition, 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. For their qualifying song at "judges' houses", and their first song as a group, One Direction sang an acoustic version of "Torn".
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." Within the first four weeks of the live shows, they were Cowell's last act in the competition. The group quickly gained popularity in the UK. 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.
Shortly afterwards it was confirmed that One Direction had been signed by Cowell to a reported £2 million Syco Records record contract. Recording for their debut album began in January 2011, as they flew to Los Angeles to work with RedOne, a record producer. A book licensed by One Direction, One Direction: Forever Young (Our Official X Factor Story), was published by HarperCollins in February 2011, subsequently topping The Sunday Times Best Seller list. The same month, the boy band and other contestants from the series participated in the X Factor Live Tour.
During the tour the group performed for 500,000 people throughout the UK. After the tour concluded in April 2011, the group continued working on their debut album. 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. 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.
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. The group's debut studio album Up All Night was released in November 2011. It topped the charts in 16 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.
The record sold 540,000 copies in its first week in the US and went to number one in 35 countries. 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. "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. As of March 2015, the band has sold 6.49 million albums and 23.7 million singles in the United States. Worldwide, they have sold more than 50 million records.
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. His last public performance in the name of One Direction was On The Road Again Tour in Hong Kong on 18 March 2015 in AsiaWorld Arena.
In March 2015, Malik was seen at a London recording studio with producer Naughty Boy, leading to speculation of the pair working on music together. 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. On 31 March 2015, Naughty Boy released on SoundCloud an early demo of the song "I Won't Mind", said to feature Malik. On 29 July 2015, Malik announced he had signed a recording deal with RCA Records.
On 17 November 2015, through an interview for The Fader, Malik teased the release of his new song "Befour" from his debut album. Malik cites urban music as his main musical influence; growing up, he liked R&B and hip hop. Malik was known as the "Bradford Bad Boy" of One Direction, due to his mischievous behaviour, his many tattoos and rock star hairstyles. Since prior to X-Factor, Malik has been a fan of tattoos, saying that he likes "getting tattoos and that he loves the whole culture behind them." His first tattoo was revealed on his Twitter account. Malik got his grandfather's name inked in Arabic. Since then, Malik has had several more tattoos. Discussing Malik's possible solo career after leaving the boyband, Billboard editor Joe Lynch described him as "the quiet one in the group [...] never the one to grab the spotlight during interviews.
He typically saved his words for the songs, not for media soundbytes." Malik has been recognised as a male sex symbol by numerous publications. In 2014 he was voted the hottest lad by Sugarscape. He was ranked second in 2013. Also in 2014, he was voted the British GQ best dressed male In 2011 he was ranked third on Sugarscape's Hottest Lads of 2011, and the following year he was ranked seventh on the Hottest Lads of 2012 and 27 on Glamour World's Sexiest Man list. Malik dated fellow The X Factor contestant Rebecca Ferguson for four months. Following his break-up with Ferguson he began dating Perrie Edwards of Little Mix in early 2012; they got engaged in late 2013.
On 4 August 2015, Malik's representative confirmed that the couple had ended their engagement. On November 30, 2015, it was confirmed that he is dating fashion model Gigi Hadid. Malik is Muslim. Conservatives in the religion have criticised him over Twitter for what they perceive to be contradictions between its doctrine and his lifestyle. He practices Transcendental Meditation.
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