Zayn Malik took home his first solo award at the 2016 American Music Awards at L.A.’s Microsoft Theater on Sunday, November 20 — but not before subtly dissing One Direction. Watch what he said in the video above!
When the “Pillowtalk” singer, 23, accepted the New Artist of the Year award, he seemed to shade his former band. “This one just has my name on it, right?” the Brit asked as he held up the trophy. Malik exited the group in March 2015, and the rest of the foursome later went on an extended hiatus in March 2016. Us Weekly exclusively reported earlier this year that One Direction was splitting for good.
“It’s been a crazy year. I can’t thank the people that have been with me every day for the past year enough,” he continued. “To this very point that I stood on this stage today is a bit crazy.”
The former boy bander then listed off his thank-you’s. “My family, my mom, my dad, everybody in my family that’s been supporting me over the last year, especially my dad, actually, so thank you, Dad. And a big, big thank you to my f–king fans. You guys are sick. I didn’t expect anybody to still vote for me, so thank you for voting for me and I’ll put it on my fireplace. Thank you.”
— Hadid News (@HadidNews) November 21, 2016
The one person Malik forgot to thank was his girlfriend, Gigi Hadid, who was cohosting the awards show with Jay Pharoah. But the supermodel, 21, was waiting right backstage to congratulate her beau, and the couple, who have been dating on and off since November 2015, sweetly shared a hug and kiss.