Harry Styles, Liam Payne and Simon Cowell break silence on Zayn's One Direction departure

Harry Styles and Liam Payne spoke out for the first time following Zayn Malik's shock departure from One Direction on Wednesday. Harry was the first band member to tweet, writing simply to his 24.1 million fans: "All the love as always – H."

A few hours later fellow bandmate Liam also posted a message: "So glad to be in bed after a long and strange 24 hours."

While Louis Tomlinson remained quiet on the social media front, Niall Horan shared with fans that he was unable to sleep.

Harry and Liam wrote on Twitter following the unexpectated departure of their fellow bandmate Zayn

Simon Cowell, who formed the group after the boys had auditioned separately on X Factor in 2010, reassured distraught fans that the band still had a bright future ahead.

"Sometimes strength is not defined by numbers," he wrote, before continuing: "As always you the fans have shown your amazing support to all the boys. When you have great talent great things happen."

The music mogul signed off for the day with: "Goodnight everyone".

Simon Cowell founded the band in 2010

Zayn announced he was leaving 1D after five years via an unexpected message on the group's Facebook page. The statement said: "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.

"I'd like to apologise 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.

Harry broke down in concert in Jakarta, Indonesia

"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."

Emotions were running high, as just hours before the statement was released, Harry broke down in tears on stage after the remaining boys had performed in Jakarta, showing that the band knew of Zayn's decision.