Zayn Malik Told Ellen DeGeneres He Was Glad to Be Back With One Direction Just Months Before Leaving

While Zayn Malik, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne, and Niall Horan are best known for their work as One Direction, they’re all headed in different directions now. Malik was the first to leave the group back in 2015. But just months before his major decision, he told Ellen DeGeneres on The Ellen DeGeneres Show that he was happy to be back with the band after briefly taking a step back.

Zayn Malik left One Direction back in 2015

Zayn Malik arrives at the premiere of Universal Pictures and Legendary Pictures' 'Straight Outta Compton'
Zayn Malik arrives at the premiere of Universal Pictures and Legendary Pictures’ ‘Straight Outta Compton’ | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Malik was one of the core members of One Direction, and once he decided to part ways with the band, the rest of the members later followed suit. Back in 2015, Malik announced he’d be leaving the band behind.

“My life with One Direction has been more than I could ever have imagined,” he posted to social media, according to E! News. “But, after five years, I feel like it is now the right time for me to leave the band. I’d like to apologize to the fans if I’ve let anyone down, but I have to do what feels right in my heart.”

As for why he was leaving the band behind, Malik wrote that he wanted to be “a normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight.” And insiders claimed Malik’s anxiety was also a driving force behind his decision.

“He is just a kid,” an insider told E! News. “He wants to make music, but the spotlight that comes with it is hard. Fame is kind of catching up with all of them. It’s been a grueling and intense few years and it’s having a snowball effect now.”

Malik said he was glad to be back with One Direction prior to leaving the band completely

One Direction joined DeGeneres on her talk show at the end of 2014, and the band was all smiles as they talked about their music with the comedian. Then, the conversation turned to Malik. It seems he was ill prior to the band’s appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, so DeGeneres inquired.

“How are you feeling?” DeGeneres asked Malik. “I know you missed release day and you were supposed to be on the Today show. You had some kind of stomach flu or something.”

“I’m feeling a lot better,” Malik answered. “I’m just happy to be back with the lads.”

To that, the rest of the band members were happy he recovered and was back as well. “It’s good to have you back,” they echoed along with crowd applause.

Harry Styles later described ‘tension’ on ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ when Malik left

(L-R) Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson and Niall Horan of One Direction
(L-R) Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson and Niall Horan of One Direction | Oscar Gonzalez/NurPhoto

RELATED: Harry Styles Describes Severe ‘Tension’ on ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ When Asked About Zayn Malik Leaving One Direction

It seems being back was short-lived. Malik appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in November 2014, and when the band came back on the show in November 2015, he was long gone. During their 2015 segment, DeGeneres even made a joke about how the band now fits on her couch better with one less person in the band.

After a topic switch and some banter, DeGeneres then asked the remaining members of the band how they feel about Malik’s exit. And Styles seemed to shut the conversation down, as it was creating a ton of tension.

“Did you know for awhile?” DeGeneres asked. “Did he talk about it for awhile, that he was leaving?”

“I think we kind of had — had a feeling, you know,” Tomlinson answered.

Styles then burst into laughter and stated, “You could cut the tension in here!” He then encouraged DeGeneres to “make some jokes” instead.

It seems all members of One Direction have moved past the band’s split, and we’re excited to see what Malik does next now that he’s a new dad.

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