A glance at any social media platform this week will tell you that Zayn Malik – the one usually second from right – of One Direction has called time on his stay with the band.
After all failing as X Factor solo hopefuls and then coming third as a manufactured group 1D took the world, and probably Simon Cowell himself, by surprise in becoming one of the biggest selling groups of all time.
There seemed apparently no limit to how much money and success the five-piece could gain but after a string of unfavourable stories Zayn has opted to call it a day, leaving the other four to go it alone. Although odds of 3/1 suggest a complete 1D collapse before the end of the year.
We all know where this ends up – in a lucrative reunion 10 years from now – but how does this latest pop break-up compare to those of yesteryear.
Here are our top five pop group exits. Read through and then have your say in the poll below.
Zayn Mailk – 1 Direction
The writing has been on the wall for some time now with Malik pulling out of a number of gigs and press events due to fatigue and/or stress. Alleged drug taking and partying with girls other than his fiancé – Little Mix’s Perrie Edwards – saw the 22-year-old fly home for a temporary break. However, he has since quit the band for good, causing Directioners the world over to sob into their 1D bedspreads.
Robbie Williams – Take That
If Malik is in need of advice on how to cope with leaving a hugely successful boy band he should look no further than Mr Williams. As one fifth of Take That the Stoke lad had taken to partying hard with the likes of the Gallagher brothers and was given an ultimatum by his bandmates: shape up or ship out and he chose the latter.
Take That continued as a four piece but called time on their journey just a year later in a break-up that saw national helplines set up to console distraught teenagers everywhere. Six solo number ones later though and Williams is still going strong.
Geri Halliwell – Spice Girls
With number one after number one Spice Girls became the biggest group of their time and ushered in the global phenomenon that was “Girl Power”. However, the wheels started to fall off in 1998 when, in the midst of a prolonged argument with Mel B, Ginger Spice decided to leave the band. The decision was again met with tears from adoring fans and while Halliwell had initial success as a solo star she soon faded from the limelight.
Bryan McFadden – Westlife
By the time Westlife came along the leave and be the first one to enjoy a solo career path was well trodden but fans were still shocked to learn of McFadden’s decision to depart just weeks before the band were to embark on a fourth world tour.
Malik’s decision – seemingly to spend more time with Edwards – echoes McFadden’s choice to spend more time with Atomic Kitten’s Kerry Katona and their kids although after their marriage ended and his solo career tanked the 1D star could have second thoughts.
Louise Nurding – Eternal
Unlike the others, Nurding didn’t wait until Eternal were at the height of their success and instead left after just one album – albeit a 4x Platinum-selling debut. Her exit sparked rumours of a rift with sibling band mates Esther and Vernie Bennett and indirectly caused tension between the duo and fourth member Kelle Bryan. This did nothing to hamper Nurding’s solo success however, with her 12 releases all reaching the UK’s top 20.