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Zayn Malik

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Zayn Malik
Full name

Zain Javadd Malik


January 12, 1993 (age 22)


West Lane, Baildon, Bradford
England, United Kingdom


DJ Malik, Bradford Bad Boy


London, England


Yaser Malik, father
Patricia Malik, mother
Doniya Malik, sister
Waliyha Malik, sister
Safaa Malik, sister


Gigi Hadid (girlfriend) Perrie Edwards (ex-fiancée)
Rebecca Ferguson (ex-girlfriend)
Geneva Lane (ex-girlfriend)

Zain Javadd "Zayn" Malik[1] (born January 12, 1993), is a former member of One Direction. He left the band on March 25, 2015, to pursue a solo music career. His debut solo album will be released in 2016.

Early life

Zayn was born in West Lane, Baildon, Bradford, England. He is of English and Pakistani descent. He was born to British-Pakistani father Yaser Malik and English mother Patricia. He has one older sister, Doniya, and two younger sisters, Waliyha and Safaa. He and his family are Muslim. Zayn grew up in East Bowling, located south of the Bradford city centre. He was a student at Lower Fields Primary School in East Bowling and went to Tong High School, a state comprehensive school.

Zayn's mother, Trisha, told the BBC in 2013 about her son's religious upbringing, stating “I made sure the children went to the mosque. Zayn has read the Quran three times.” When Zayn was growing up, Trisha worked as a halal chef at a primary school, cooking meals for Muslim children.[2]

Musical Career

See also: One Direction history

One Direction

In 2010, when he was 17 years old, Zayn auditioned in Manchester for the seventh series of The X Factor. He revealed in the film This Is Us and in his 2015 Fader magazine interview that he would not have gone to his audition if his mother hadn't dragged him out of bed that morning. He stated he went to the audition because he "felt like I owed her".


Zayn during his X Factor audition.

Zayn sang "Let Me Love You", a 2004 hit by R&B singer Mario. All three judges — Simon, Louis, and Nicole — gave him a 'yes'. His audition was initially not broadcast, but was later shown briefly on The Xtra Factor.

Zayn was noted for becoming nervous and withdrawn in bootcamp, and famously refused to participate in a dance segment until personally encouraged by Simon Cowell. He passed the dance stage but failed to proceed past bootcamp, where he was initially eliminated as a solo artist, but brought back to be added to the group that would become One Direction. Following their placing third on The X Factor, One Direction signed a record contract with Sony Music subsidiary Syco Music, releasing 4 #1 albums and completing 4 world tours in 4 years.


On March 25, 2015, One Direction's official Facebook account announced in a statement that Malik had permanently departed from the band, citing his desire to live life away from the spotlight. Additionally, in an interview with The Sun[3], he further explained that he "didn't feel like himself anymore" and that he had been unhappy for a while, having only continued because of the fans. His former bandmates echoed his words in their October/November promo campaign for Made in the A.M., stating he "fell out of love with the music" and they could tell he was increasingly unhappy within the band. They have stated many times they are stronger than ever now and Zayn has told media he is happy now.

Solo Career

Zayn began working on his debut solo album two days after leaving One Direction. He signed with RCA Records on July 29, 2015. He confirmed via Fader Magazine on November 17, that his debut solo single would be called Befour. He told the magazine that reintroducing himself as a Muslim pop star was his main intention with the new album, due for release in 2016. Speaking to Fader about how the album will sound, Zayn stated "The album—I have a name for it in my head right now, but I don’t want to tell you what the album name is—all the songs are different genres. They don’t really fit a specific type of music. They’re not like, ‘This is funk, this is soul, this is upbeat, this is a dance tune.’ Nothing is like that. I don’t really know what my style is yet. I’m kind of just showing what my influences are. Depending on what the reaction is, then I’ll go somewhere with that. If people like that I’m a bit more R&B, then I’ll do more R&B on my next album. If they like the fact that there’s reggae on there, I might do more reggae. It’s just depending on what they want and what I feel comfortable with at the time. I might even have a rock tune on the album, but it’s kind of like R&B-rock.”

Personal Life


Zayn's parents are Yaser and Trisha Malik. He also has three sisters. Zayn credits his father's music taste as a big influence on his own singing and songwriting. In the One Direction film This Is Us, Zayn is shown buying a house for his entire family and he states this was the entire reason he wanted to be a successful entertainer, so he could give back to and provide for his family.


Zayn currently has three dogs, Boris, Rhino and Marley. An attack dog is mentioned in his November 2015 Fader interview but has never been photographed.

Perrie Edwards kept the two dogs they bought while they were still dating.


Zayn and geneva

Zayn and Geneva

Geneva Lane

Zayn dated fellow The X Fa​ctor contestant Geneva Lane briefly in 2010. At the time, he was 17 and she was 20. They grew close during their time on the show. However, due to Simon Cowell's strict ban against the contestants dating, they denied there was a relationship. At the season seven finale, they finally revealed themselves as a couple when cameras captured them kissing. Zayn later confirmed on Twitter that they were together.[4] After the break up, Geneva said, "Zayn's a heartbreaker. When I found out he was seeing Rebecca I felt numb." In a November 2011 interview she said that she and Zayn remained friends, but didn't talk much because of his busy schedule.

Zayn and Rebecca

Zayn and Rebecca

Rebecca Ferguson

In 2011, Zayn began dating The X Factor's season seven runner-up, Rebecca Ferguson when he was 18, and she was 24. Their relationship drew media attention because of the six year age difference. They met while they were on The X Factor, but Rebecca stated that "It took a while before we looked at each other in a different light. There was no one particular moment, it just evolved over time." Zayn was the one who pursued Rebecca. The relationship ended after four months in July 2011 with Rebecca stating at the time, "Me and Zayn just grew apart. I wish him all the best." However, in an interview in October 2012, Zayn opened up about the relationship by saying, "It shouldn't have happened. It was just a wrong idea from the start. It did end quite badly, so we don't talk any more. We're not in touch at all." Since then, Rebecca has alluded various times that Zayn was unfaithful.

Zayn and Perrie

Zayn and Perrie

Perrie ​Edwards

Zayn was previously engaged to Perrie Edwards of The X Factor winning group, Little Mix. They met when One Direction performed on the show. Rumors had spread that Zayn and Perrie were dating, after Zayn revealed he has a crush on her. In May 2012, Zayn confirmed the two were a couple after paparazzi pictures of the two kissing, and riding a scooter were published. On August 18, 2013, after a weekend together, Zayn proposed to her. She displayed the three diamond ring for the first time at One Direction 's This Is Us World Premiere in London. Perrie's mum and Zayn's rep both confirmed that the two were engaged. Zayn revealed to fans at a soundcheck in the Australian leg of the Take Me Home Tour that he proposed in front of both his and Perrie's parents in their back garden during a specially set up "Outdoor Movie Night"[5] On August 4th, 2015, it was confirmed that Zayn and Perrie had officially split up. Zayn is said to be the one who called off the engagement, ending the relationship sometime in July. An insider reported that, "Zayn wanted to move on and start over in all ways." In his November 2015 interview with Fader magazine, Zayn denied rumors he broke up with Perrie via text message, stating “I have more respect for Perrie than to end anything over text message. I love her a lot, and I always will, and I would never end our relationship over four years like that. She knows that, I know that, and the public should know that as well. I don’t want to explain why or what I did, I just want the public to know I didn’t do that.”

Zayn and Gigi

Zayn and Gigi

Gigi Hadid

On November 23 2015, media outlets began reporting that Zayn was dating 20-year-old supermodel Gigi Hadid. They were photographed leaving Los Angeles nightclubs and restaurants on the 23rd and 24th of November.[6] On November 25, pictures of them spending time together in a hotel room were released to the media.[7]


Leaked Video

In May 2014, a video recorded in April by former One Direction bandmate Louis, was leaked by The Daily Mail. The footage showed Zayn and Louis, alongside other members of their management team, smoking cannabis while being driven to a concert in Peru. The footage contained Zayn criticizing One Direction's official merchandise, stating that both the band and the fans were growing tired of it pandering to a much younger audience, devoid of any artistic creativity. Louis received media backlash for apparently using racial slurs. No member of the band has ever publicly commented on the incident, or the video, but Liam offered an apology on their behalf on Twitter, a few days after the video leaked. It was speculated in early 2015 that Zayn and Louis may be charged for using illegal drugs but nothing eventuated.

Cheating Allegations

Throughout Zayn's four year relationship with Perrie Edwards, numerous allegations of his infidelity were speculated on by the media. While nothing was ever directly confirmed, pictures of Zayn asleep in bed, taken by a waitress he reportedly slept with, were leaked onto the internet in 2013.[8] In March 2015, allegations resurfaced when paparazzi pictures of Zayn holding hands and cuddling a woman named Lauren Richardson were published, and the woman herself uploaded a picture of her in Zayn's arms. The reports caused Zayn to lash out on Twitter stating "I'm 22 years old... I love a girl named Perrie Edwards. And there's a lot of jealous f*cks in this world I'm sorry for what it looks like x"[9]. The next day, Zayn was signed off from One Direction's world tour and a week later he announced his exit from the band. In his November 2015 Fader interview, he said the incident did not lead to his decision to leave, stating "The two things never really coincided in my mind. Obviously, publicly, that’s the way it worked, because it worked well for the purpose."

Naughty Boy

Zayn had a brief working relationship with producer Naughty Boy from early 2014 to mid 2015. Naughty Boy is considered by the One Direction fanbase to have driven a wedge between Zayn and the rest of the band. Tension was reported to have risen after One Direction did not feature any of his songs on their album Four, after he worked with them throughout 2014. Zayn became close with Naughty Boy in 2014, with the pair even purchasing custom made 'Zaughty' tracksuits together. Naughty Boy appeared to become an official associate of Simon Cowell's in November 2014, when Cowell tweeted about him for the first time. In March 2015, after Zayn exited One Direction, Naughty Boy posted a series of antagonizing tweets, making fun of One Direction's fans and claiming "Zaughty" had "won". Louis Tomlinson called him out, tweeting "Wow @NaughtyBoyMusic you're so inconsiderate pal , seriously how fucking old are you ? Grow up ! #masterofallwisdom"[10]. Naughty Boy responded by leaking a demo of an unfinished solo Zayn song titled I Won't Mind. In May 2015, another Twitter fight between Louis and Naughty Boy erupted, after Naughty Boy interpreted a humorous Instagram post by Liam, stating he had found a new fifth member, as a diss against Zayn. Naughty posted a photo titled "Replace this" onto Twitter, which Louis promptly insulted. Naughty Boy responded by saying Louis couldn't sing and used autotune. The fight concluded when Zayn addressed Louis, tweeting "Remember when you had a life and stopped making bitchy comments about mine?".[11] These events were the catalyst for the fan-led campaign to make No Control an unofficial single. In July 2015, after Naughty Boy leaked Zayn's cover of Rae Sremmurd's song No Type, along with a music video filmed in January 2015, Zayn cut all ties with Naughty Boy, tweeting "@NaughtyBoyMusic you fat joke stop pretending we're friends no one knows you."[12]


Zayn is half Palestinian and a practising Muslim. As a result, he has been subjected to numerous racist attacks both from the public and the press. In August 2012, Zayn deleted his Twitter account after receiving constant racist attacks and accusations of infidelity.[13] He remade his Twitter acount later, but received more attacks and death threats after tweeting #FreePalestine in 2014, during a particularly vicious string of attacks between Palestine and Israel. In 2014, US talk show The Daily Show compared Zayn to a terrorist. Fan backlash caused the show to address the joke, claiming they did not know he was Muslim. They later made fun of the fanbase for defending him.[14] In 2015, US personality Bill Maher also compared Zayn to a terrorist, and also made fun of the fanbase upon their immediate backlash against the comparison.[15] In November 2015, a Huffington Post article about terrorist group ISIS briefly mentioned Zayn as an example of a Western Muslim public figure. A photograph of Zayn was used in social media postings of the article, making it look as though his image was being used to illustrate an article about terrorists. Fans once again criticized the outlet and Huffington Post quickly deleted and apologized for the error.[16] Zayn's 2015 Fader interview addressed the racism he has faced, stating "As the band’s only person of color, and the West’s single most prominent Muslim celebrity, Zayn has faced misunderstanding to an unimaginable degree...after hearing Zayn talk about how normal he is, I can’t help but wonder how “normal” a Muslim person would have to be in order to appease all the world’s bigots—and whether, given the impossible degree of nonthreatening-ness that seems required, how someone in Zayn’s position could ever feel safe enough to say something like, “Yes, I do want to be influential.”[17]


His first tattoo is والتر, which is his grandfather's name, Walter, in Arabic on his chest toward the upper right. He got the tattoo after his grandfather passed away while he was on The X Factor. During an interview with Capital FM in September 2011, Zayn confirmed he had two additional tattoos.[18] He stated that he had a Japanese symbol that means "born lucky" on his stomach (which was later covered up by a heart), and a yin and yang symbol on his left wrist. Zayn has said that the crossed fingers on his forearm are a symbol of good luck. He tweeted that the inscription across his collarbone meant "be true to who you are".[19] The tattoo of a woman (rumored to be Perrie Edwards) was done during the American leg of the boy's second tour "Take Me Home" in Maryland. The image is a "hippy" version with a beanie and a peace sign t-shirt. The snake and tiger were done in a hotel room during the Oceania leg of the Take Me Home Tour.


Up All Night

Take Me Home

Midnight Memories



  • "Vas Happenin?" (Famous Catchphrase)
  • “I feel like there is a connection between music and art, I don’t know what that is but there’s definitely a connection between it because I just can play music and whatever I feel from the music. I think I kinda paint it.”
  • “Life is funny. Things change, people change, but you will always be you, so stay true to yourself and never sacrifice who you are for anyone.”
  • "I want to thank god for allowing me to be able to do what my dreams were. i’d like to thank my mum and dad for making me Asian and allowing me to have some sort of an effect on the Asian community, it’s a massive honour.i’d also like to take this moment to thank four of the best guys that i ever met, whilst being in the band and doing all the amazing things that i did, some of the things that we did will stay with me for the rest of my life and i thank you for that. and here’s to the future." (After winning an achievement award at the 2015 Asian Awards)
  • "#FreePalestine" (on Twitter)
  • "I never went with a master plan, thinking, ‘I want to be famous.’ I literally went for an experience thing on the show and just hoped that… I guess I just got lucky."
  • "I did try to do something that I wasn’t happy doing for a while, for the sake of maybe other people’s happiness. And I only ever tried to do it for the fans, and it was only ever for them.“ (On why he left the band)
  • "My life with One Direction has been more than I could ever have imagined. But, after five years, I feel like it is now the right time for me to leave the band. I'd like to apologise to the fans if I've let anyone down, but I have to do what feels right in my heart. I am leaving because I want to be a normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight. I know I have four friends for life in Louis, Liam, Harry and Niall. I know they will continue to be the best band in the world." (The announcement he made when he resigned from the band)
  • “My main influences in music came from my dad, It was a lot of R&B, a lot of R. Kelly, a lot of Usher, a lot of Donell Jones, a lot of Prince. He used to play a lot of rap as well, 2Pac and Biggie. A lot of bop, a lot of reggae, Gregory Isaac and weird artists like Yellowman.” (Talking to Fader magazine in 2015 about his taste in music)
  • “I can map every lyric and every note to mean something to me. It’s a snapshot of my life and the thoughts on my life, my hopes, my aspirations, and my regrets in the summer of 2015.” (Talking to Fader magazine in 2015 about his debut solo album)


  • Zayn's birth name is actually spelled 'Zain'. It wasn't until The X Factor that he decided to change the spelling to 'Zayn' because he liked how it looked. He has still not legally changed the spelling.
  • He accidentaly smashed a Vespa in 2012.
  • His name means "beautiful" in Arabic.
  • He's afraid of open water.
  • He has size 8-and-a half feet.
  • He had never had a passport or been on a plane before One Direction.
  • His favorite color is blue.
  • His zodiac sign is Capricorn.
  • He loves drawing.
  • He supports Pakistan's national cricket team in the World Cup.
  • His first tweet from his Twitter account @zaynmalik was on August 9, 2010.[20]
  • He is the godfather to stylist, Caroline Watson's daughter Brooklyn.
  • He has a nose piercing.
  • Four is the last album he recorded before he left One Direction.

External Links


  1. File image - Questionnaire Zayn filled out where he writes his full name.
  2. Trisha quote
  3. Interview with The Sun
  4. @zaynmalik. Twitter. Confirming Geneva relationship. December 13, 2010.
  5. News Article: Zayn Shares His Romantic Proposal
  6. Zayn and Gigi Hadid Together
  7. Zayn and Gigi Hadid
  8. Zayn Cheating Allegations
  9. Zayn's Tweet
  10. Louis's Tweet
  11. Zayn's Tweet To Louis
  12. Zayn's Naughty Boy Tweet
  13. Zayn Deleted Twitter 2012
  14. The Daily Show Tweet
  15. Bill Maher Not Apologizing
  16. Huffington Post Controversy
  17. Fader Interview 2015
  18. One Direction Need Tattoo Advice. Capital FM. September 12, 2011.
  19. @zaynmalik. Twitter. Left collarbone tattoo. April 5, 2012
  20. Twitter Zayn's first tweet

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