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Zayn quit the band in the middle of a world tour in 2015. At the time, the five members of One Direction were in the Asian leg of their fourth stadium tour, the On The Road Again Tour. Two months into the run, just after performing in Hong Kong on March 18, 2015, Zayn left the band. He later provided a statement on the official 1D Facebook account, where he cited “stress” for his reasoning, as well as wanting to live a “normal 22-year-old life”. Harry Styles, however, was none the wiser.
SCROLL DOWN TO WATCH HARRY STYLES TALK TO ZANE LOWE ABOUT ZAYN MALIK
While promoting his second studio album, Fine Line, Harry spoke candidly about Zayn’s exit.
The record has since gone on to sell more than 2 million copies and has reached multiplatinum status.
He told Apple Music’s Zane Lowe: “Yeah, I mean, it was hard you know. Part of it was… We were sad that someone had left.
“But also sad that he was not enjoying it so much that he had to leave.”
READ MORE: One Direction Liam Payne ‘was pleased when 1D split up’
One Direction: Harry Styles ‘wasn’t aware’ of Zayn’s emotions (Image: GETTY)
Harry continued: “I think at the time the tour was going so well. Everyone had kind of got to this place where everyone was kind of living in a way where they felt pretty good while touring.”
He went on to add that he was not even aware of Zayn’s feelings at the time.
He said: “It felt like everyone was kind of enjoying it. And yeah I’d say a big part of it was us saying wow, I didn’t realise [Zayn] wasn’t enjoying it that much.”
The Watermelon Sugar singer went on to detail the reaction the rest of the band had after Zayn’s exit.
One Direction: Harry Styles spoke out about Malik’s exit (Image: GETTY)
One Direction: Zayn Malik left the band in 2015 (Image: GETTY)
Harry said: “Obviously there were big moments for us. We were about to start recording a new album and we [thought] do we just record this without him?
“But I’d say in the moment the four of us became closer. Because this was a hurdle we weren’t expecting.”
Despite Zayn’s unexpected exit, the Adore You singer went on to reveal the band was more or less planning to bring One Direction to an end by the end of that year.
He said: “Well… I wouldn’t say [the band splitting] crept up. I guess the last year of it we all kind of knew we were going to stop at the end of that year.”
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One Direction’s end was unexpected for fans but ultimately allowed each of the five members to start their own solo careers.
Harry has since become a Grammy Award-winning artist and has hosted Saturday Night Live and is due to star in two feature films, Don’t Worry Darling and My Policeman.
Another member of the band, Liam Payne, recently spoke out about the band’s split, while adding he was “pleased” it happened.
Liam explained: “I know a lot of people are going to be mad at me for saying that, but I needed to stop or it would kill me.” (Via The Diary of a CEO Podcast)
Liam went on: “Liam said: “In the band … the best way to secure us, because of how big we’d got, was just to lock us in our rooms. What’s in the room? A mini-bar.
“So, at a certain point I thought, I’m just going to have a party-for-one and that seemed to carry on for many years of my life.”
He added: “Liam added: “Then you look back at how long you’ve been drinking and you’re like: ‘Jesus Christ, that’s a long time.’ It was wild, but it was the only way you could get the frustration out.”