Zayn Malik (born 12 January 1993), is an English singer and songwriter. In 2010, Malik auditioned as a solo artist for the British reality television music competition The X Factor. After being eliminated as a solo performer, Malik was brought back into the competition, along with Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Liam Payne, and Louis Tomlinson, to form the boy band One Direction. During his time in the group, Malik and his bandmates released the albums Up All Night (2011), Take Me Home (2012), Midnight Memories (2013), and Four (2014). In March 2015, Malik’s representative announced the singer’s departure from the band.
Malik signed a solo recording contract with RCA Records in 2015, with his debut studio album Mind of Mine released on 25 March 2016. The album and its lead single, “Pillowtalk”, reached number one in a number of countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, with Malik becoming the first British male artist to debut at number one in both the UK and US with his debut single and debut album.
In 2010, 17-year-old Malik auditioned in Manchester for the seventh series of reality-television competition The X Factor. He sang “Let Me Love You” by Mario as his audition song and was accepted into the next round. Upon auditioning for The X Factor, Malik stated that he was “looking for an experience”. He was eliminated before the final round of the competition, but judges Nicole Scherzinger and Simon Cowell grouped him with fellow competitors Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson to form a new act for the remainder of the show, the boy band that would become known as One Direction.The group quickly gained popularity in the UK, finished in third place, and were subsequently signed by Cowell to a reported £2 million Syco Records record contract. They subsequently signed in North America with Columbia Records.