Zayn Malik Subtly Shades One Direction in AMAs 2016 Speech, Kisses Girlfriend Gigi Hadid Backstage

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!

Zayn Malik
Singer Zayn Malik accepts New Artist of the Year on stage during the 2016 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on Nov. 20, 2016, in Los Angeles. Kevin Winter/Getty Images

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.

One Direction
Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, Zayn Malik, Niall Horan, and Harry Styles of One Direction speak on stage at the 2014 American Music Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on Nov. 23, 2014, in Los Angeles. Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

“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.”

Zayn Malik, Gigi Hadid
Zayn Malik and Gigi Hadid attend the Givenchy show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Spring/Summer 2017 on Oct. 2, 2016, in Paris. Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

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.”

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. 

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