Zayn Malik leaves One Direction: his 15 best moments

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Zayn Malik sent shockwaves around the pop world when he announced that he was quitting One Direction. Just last week the chart-topper was signed off with stress and left the band's world tour, but on Wednesday Zayn confirmed that he was parting ways with the group for good.

In the five years that he was a part of One Direction, the handsome singer achieved more than the average 22-year-old.

He participated in sell-out tours, starred in two blockbuster music documentaries, released four studio albums, performed at the Olympics closing ceremony and proposed to Little Mix singer Perrie Edwards.

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Zayn Malik originally auditioned on The X Factor as a solo artist

During his time in the spotlight, Zane was hit with allegations of drug taking and being unfaithful, but he could always count on fellow bandmates Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson to stand by him through thick and thin.

For the city boy from up north – nicknamed the "Bradford Bad Boy" for his mischievous behaviour – appearing on the X Factor changed his life forever.

Originally auditioning as a solo singer in Manchester, aged 17, Zayn was put together with the other boys by music mogul Simon Cowell, who currently manages the pop group.

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Zayn Malik announced that he was leaving One Direction in March 2015 after five years

One Direction was born, and Zayn got more than he bargained for after stating at his X Factor audition: "I was looking for an experience."

No one could predict just how instantaneous their success would be, starting with their debut single What Makes You Beautiful. The catchy hit reached number one in the UK singles chart in 2011, and with it Zayn and his four friends earned idol status almost overnight.

The handsome, dark-haired singer has a legion of female fans, but one girl stole his heart – Perrie Edwards. Zayn and the Little Mix beauty met on X Factor and were together for less than a year when they got engaged.

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Perrie Edwards and Zayn Malik got engaged after meeting backstage at The X Factor

The couple, who are yet to make headway with their wedding plans, have openly declared their love with each other online, with Zayn writing on Twitter last week: "I'm 22 years old... I love a girl named Perrie Edwards."

Zayn, who is the second most tattooed member of One Direction, has paid tribute to his love with an inking of her pretty face on his right bicep.

Another special woman in Zayn's life is his mother Trisha, to whom he is incredibly close. The singer bought his mum a house in Bradford in 2013, having raked in the millions over the years.

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Zayn Malik bought his mum Trisha a house in Bradford in 2013

Apart from gaining recognition with five BRIT awards, a whopping 19 Teen Choice Awards and several more trophies, the band have amassed their multi-million fortune through concert tickets, album sales, endorsements, merchandise, films and even three fragrances.

Zayn himself recorded a collaboration with UK music producer Naughty Boy, which will feature on the DJ's upcoming album. Naughty Boy, real name Shahid Khan, said of the talented Zayn - who helped pen Story Of My Life among other hits - "I'm really impressed by him and his writing ability."

What do you think of Zayn's surprise exit? Leave your comments below.

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