After forming and finishing in third place on U.K.’s version of The X Factor in 2010, One Direction released four successful studio albums — Up All Night, Take Me Home, Midnight Memories and Four. Following five years as a group, however, Malik was the first to leave the band, announcing his departure in March 2015.
“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,” he said in a statement at the time. “I’d like to apologize 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.”
Horan, Payne, Styles and Tomlinson went on to release a fifth album, Made in the A.M., sans Malik. Shortly after the record dropped, however, the remaining band members announced they were taking an extended hiatus. Less than a year later, Us Weekly broke the news in that the foursome decided “not to renew their recording contract,” ultimately calling it quits as a band.
“The 1D thing just ran its course,” an insider dished to Us in January 2016. “They’ll remain friends, but they are exhausted and want solo careers.”
Scroll through for an update on where the former 1D stars are today: