Zayn Malik almost missed his chance at fame. On the morning of his audition for The X Factor UK in 2010, he felt so nervous that he decided not to go — that is, until his mother, Tricia, basically dragged him out of bed and helped change his mind. The rest, as they say, was history.
In the middle of the competition, creator and judge Simon Cowell grouped Malik with Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson to form a boy band named One Direction. The fivesome went on to conquer the world, releasing four albums together in the same number of years and performing at historic stadiums across North America, Europe and beyond.
However, Malik abruptly left the group in 2015 in the middle of one of their tours. He explained to fans that there was not a rift between the members, but he simply wanted time away from the spotlight.
The singer-songwriter ended up returning to music a year later though, when he released his debut solo album, Mind of Mine. His sophomore record, Icarus Falls, followed in 2018.
In addition to his successful career, Malik has made headlines for his personal life, most notably his past relationships with Perrie Edwards and Gigi Hadid.
Scroll down to see photos of the entertainer through the years, from his childhood to present day!