Zayn Malik's Early Life
Zayn Malik – born Zain Javadd Malik on 12 January, 1993 – is the son of an English and Irish mother and British Pakistani Muslim father. He was raised in Yorkshire along with his three sisters, Doniya, Waliyha and Safaa.
He grew up writing raps and singing in school, also boxing between the ages of 15 to 17. Originally, he wanted to pursue an English degree and pursue an academic career.
Zayn Malik's Time with One Direction
Aged 17, he went along to the 2010 auditions for the seventh season of The X Factor. He sang 'Let Me Love You' by Mario, and all three judges, Simon Cowell, Louis Walsh, and Nicole Scherzinger, gave him a 'yes'. Unfortunately, he failed to progress as a solo act. But then guest judge Nicole came to the rescue, suggesting that he and four other rejected hopefuls form a band – and One Direction was born, alongside Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, Harry Styles, and Niall Horan. The boys were a big hit on the show, finally finishing in third place.
Immediately afterwards they signed up with their mentor Simon's Syco Records label. They were hugely successful, becoming one of the best selling boy bands of all time, thanks to the success of their albums Up All Night, Take Me Home, Midnight Memories, and Four. The envy of every man and the heartthrob of every woman, the boys were quite the sensation, compared often to The Beatles, even making two hit concert films. However, it changed in 2015 when Zayn announced his intention to leave the group.
Zayn Malik's Solo Career
The singer released his first single in January 2016, 'Pillowtalk,' and despite initial skepticism, it became a global number one hit, as did parent album Mind of Mine. Following an extensive promotional tour and time off to work on another album, he followed that up with 2018's Icarus Falls, which was positively received but not as commercially successful, as was his third album, 2020's Nobody Is Listening.
Zayn has had more success with collaborations, however, achieving a pair of worldwide successes with Taylor Swift on 2016's 'I Don't Wanna Live Forever' and with Sia for 2017's 'Dusk Till Dawn.'
Zayn Malik's Personal Life
Seen as the One Direction "bad boy," the musician's personal life has frequently been a topic of conversation. In 2011, Zayn dated fellow X Factor contestant Rebecca Ferguson, who was at 24 some six years his senior, which ended after four months. Zayn then began seeing Little Mix singer Perrie Edwards later that year and they announced their engagement in 2013. However, they called it off two years later.
From 2015-2021, he was in an on-again-off-again relationship with supermodel Gigi Hadid, with whom he also welcomed daughter Khai in September 2020. They broke up in 2021 after Gigi's mother, Yolanda, accused the singer of striking her, after which he entered a no contest deal to four charges of harassment. He was sentenced by a Pennsylvania court later that year to 360 days of probation and completion of anger management and domestic violence education programs.