If you are looking for the definition of cuteness and excellence in one pack, then think Zayn Malik. Zayn, as fans call him, became one of the top names in the music world after he contested in the British reality television music competition, The X-factor, in 2010. He did not win the competition, but he found success after forming a group, One Direction, with other contestants.
Since then, Zayn Malik’s media profile has risen, with millions of fans spread all over the world. The result? A continual interest in his personal life, from his ancestry to his relationship with Gigi Hadid. A fair price to pay for stardom by the English singer, who grew up in the small town of Bradford.
Zayn Malik is the Son of a British Pakistani
If his name didn’t give it away, Zayn Malik has Islamic roots. He is the son of a British Pakistani father, Yaser Malik. Although his mother converted to Islam, she is of English and Irish descent. They gave birth to him on January 12, 1993, in Bradford, England. Unfortunately, the love that birthed Zayn Malik did not last. His parents divorced when he was just six years old.
Although Zayn was born into a Muslim family, he is no longer one. His parents raised him a Muslim alongside three sisters, Waliyha, Safaa, and Doniya, who is the oldest. They grew up in East Bowling and were a working-class family. Zayn had his primary education at Lower Field Primary School and went to high school at Tony High School in Bradford.
Before he found love in music, the singer once had an interest in studying English literature because he wanted to become a teacher, but he later took courses on arts and started writing rap songs. His early music education came via his father, who listened to urban music like reggae, hip hop, and R&B. His first stage performance was in high school during a Jay Sean event.
From X Factor Failure to Global Stardom
As a solo artist, Zayn Malik auditioned for The X Factor and reached the final round of the competition. But it would not be the last music fans would hear from him. An insightful idea by Simon Cowell and Nicole Scherzinger to group him along with similar ‘failures’ resulted in the birth of One Direction and Zayn’s return to the X Factor stage. The group consisted of other contestants like Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, and Niall Horan.
A combination of their vocal and performance skills quickly made them a UK sensation. They finished third on The X Factor and were signed by Cowell to his record label, Syco Records. To expand into North America, they signed with Columbia Records, officially transforming Zayn Malik into a professional musician.
With the band, Zayn Malik released five studio albums and seventeen singles, most of which were commercially successful. The group, as of April 2020, had sold more than 70 million records worldwide. The band also went on several global tours, turning each member into a household name. But after five years as a member of One Direction, Malik left the group, and subsequently began a solo career.
Zayn Malik’s Solo Career Has Been a Mixed Success
Malik’s first solo album was titled Mind of Mine – it topped the game and became the number one song in several major music markets. He released the album under RCA Records, which signed him in July 2015. The 14-track album was a critical and commercial success, selling more than 269,000 copies and over 40.8 million streams in its first week. The album proved the viability of Zayn as a solo artist, all while he made his music the way he wanted it to be.
However, his second album, Icarus Falls, was not as successful as his debut solo project. It peaked at #61 on the US Billboard 200 and #77 on the UK Albums Chart, despite receiving similar critical reviews as his first album. The 13-track album, which featured juggernauts like Timbaland and Nicki Minaj, sold a few hundred thousand copies in its entire run. Still, Zayn Malik has continued to maintain music relevance with commercially successful singles like a cover version of A Whole New World, and the electropop track, Flames.
Malik’s Fame Also Comes from Fashion
One of the contributors to One Direction’s popularity was the handsome look of its members. Zayn Malik has leaned into this to craft a fashion career. He has modeled for several brands and graced the cover of multiple magazines.
While that is not particularly unique for a music act of his caliber, he has taken it further by designing fashion items like footwear and backpacks. He released a shoe line with Giuseppe Zanotti in January 2017 and a backpack line with Kooples in September 2018. Malik also has served as the creative director for Versace’s men and women’s capsule collection, Zayn x Versus. The collection was released in May 2017.
Zayn has quickly become an influential figure in fashion and has been recognized annually since 2016 in The Business of Fashion’s BoF500 index. He has also hosted CFDA/Vogue Fashion Funds’ annual cocktail and was the face of Versace’s Spring Summer 2017 campaign.
His Success in Music and Fashion Exploits Have Made Him Rich
Zayn Malik has no means reached the pinnacle of success as a solo artist. But he is far from being a struggling musician. His modest solo record sales, combined with the massive success of his One Direction days has earned him a $65 million net worth. His net worth makes him the fourth richest member of the group, behind Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson, and Harry Styles.
Although his exact earnings from fashion are yet to be determined, it has contributed to the British singer’s overall income. While he expectedly spends his money on luxuries like private jets, mega-mansions, and high-end cars, Zayn also puts some of his money towards charity.
He is the official ambassador of the British Asian Trust charity group. He has also helped raise funds for Kean’s Children Fund. Malik once bought a box at a Bradford City game for underprivileged children in the city to watch a game.
Zayn Malik Has Been in a Few Relationships
Having been named among the sexiest men alive, among other accolades praising his looks, it is no surprise that Zayn Malik has had his fair share of relationships, particularly with fellow celebrities. His first notable one was with Rebecca Ferguson, a British singer and The X Factor alumni. Their affair began in 2011, in April and lasted four months before it ended.
Due to the high media interest in their relationship, their age difference (Rebecca is six years older), and their schedules, the two of them grew apart. Since they broke, Zayn and Rebecca have maintained a cordial relationship, so friendly that she has expressed support for his other notable relationship with Gigi Hadid.
Aside from Rebecca Ferguson, Zayn has been in a relationship with others like Geneva Lane, Stephanie Davis, Perrie Edwards, and Wallis Day. He has also dated Rita Ora and Carlyn Bryan.
He is Having a Baby with Gigi Hadid
Zayn Malik met Gigi Hadid, the famous supermodel, at the American Music Awards in late 2015. Not so long after, in 2016, they began a relationship and were together for two years before they broke up in 2018. While they were together, the two of them became an icon of the fashion industry. They graced the cover of various magazines, including Vogue, and did a Versace campaign together.
The exact cause of their breakup remains unknown, but the two kept a cordial relationship, and in February 2020, they were back together. In April 2020, Zayn Malik and Gigi Hadid announced they were having a child together, due sometime in 2020. Since they got pregnant, the two of them have reportedly become inseparable, and it would not be surprising if the birth of their child makes them an item for good.