It seems like it was just yesterday when Zayn Malik, Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson, and Liam Payne auditioned for The X Factor and were put together in a band by Simon Cowell. They finished in third place and signed with Syco Records shortly after.
They achieved a huge amount of success as one of the world's most popular singing groups, and it seemed as if those nostalgic for the boy bands of the '90s had finally found a replacement for NSYNC.
Things Get Rocky
On March 25, 2015, fans were stunned when One Direction announced that Zayn Malik would be leaving the band. The remaining four members continued on without him for a number of months, even releasing their single "Drag Me Down." However, by the end of the year, the group confirmed they would be taking a hiatus. The band members did not renew their contracts when the "On The Road Again Tour" completed in October, and it was rumored they would be splitting permanently.
Of course, we all know this to be very true now, as each member has made an effort to carve out their own individual career, with some achieving more success than others.
Zayn's Departure Causes Friction
While it seemed the group of five were always the best of friends, playing around backstage and joking during interviews, things behind the scenes were not so rosy by the time the group split. Perhaps they just needed some time away from each other?
When Zayn left the band in 2015, not only was the world stunned but so were his bandmates. While he said in his statement, "I know I have four friends for life in Louis, Liam, Harry and Niall," the words seem pretty hollow looking back now.
In May 2015, producer Naughty Boy posted a picture to Twitter in which he claimed he was working with Zayn, and captioned it, "Replace this." Woah, shots fired!
Louis Tomlinson fired back with some not so nice tweets of his own, and Zayn responded to the thread, writing, " remember when you had a life and stopped making bitchy comments about mine?" It was the first time fans really got an inside look into what was really going on within the band, and things weren't looking good.
Zayn Claims He Never Wanted To Be In The Band
In January 2016, Zayn was done keeping his opinions to himself, telling Beats 1, "I think I always wanted to go, from like the first year, really. I never really wanted to be there, like in the band. I just gave it a go because it was there at the time, and when I realized the direction we were going in - mind the pun - with the music, I instantly realized it wasn't for me because I realized I couldn't put any input in."
Zayn was definitely done holding back, however the other members of One Direction clearly did not take too kindly to the somewhat sassy comments.
Harry Styles Throws Some Major Shade
In September 2017, Zayn told Us Weekly that he and Harry Styles were never very close, saying, "To be honest, I never really spoke to Harry even when I was in the band. So I didn’t really expect that much of a relationship with him."
Well then, it would seem that was the last nail in the coffin for this band and their friendships.
Harry Styles recently hosted Saturday Night Live and in his opening monologue he referenced all the members of One Direction, however, replaced Zayn's name with Ringo Starr.
Does that mean the beef is not over between these ex-band members? Can't we all just get along? You know, world peace and all that?