Born January 12, 1993, in Bradford, West Yorkshire, England, Zayn Malik shot to fame in 2010 as one-fifth of the European boy band One Direction.
Simon Cowell created One Direction during The X Factor UK in 2010, combining soloists Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson with Malik to form a group. Despite finishing the talent competition show in third place, the band signed a recording contract with Cowell’s SYCO Music. One Direction quickly experienced worldwide success with the 2011 release of their debut album, Up All Night, followed up by Take Me Home in 2012, Midnight Memories in 2013 and Four in 2014.
In March 2015, to the dismay of One Direction’s mega fanbase known as “Directioners,” Malik announced he was leaving the band. He went on to sign a solo recording contract with RCA Records and released studio album Mind of Mine with wildly popular lead single “Pillowtalk” that same March.
In 2015, after ending his relationship with Little Mix singer Perrie Edwards, to whom he became engaged in 2013, Malik began seeing model Gigi Hadid. The two confirmed their relationship in March 2016.