One Direction: Zayn Malik has left the band

LONDON (AP) -- Chart-topping boy band One Direction says Zayn Malik has left the group.

The band confirmed his departure Wednesday in a statement.

Malik said: "My life with One Direction has been more than I could ever have imagined. But, after five years, I feel like it is now the right time for me to leave the band. I'd like to apologise to the fans if I've let anyone down, but I have to do what feels right."

One Direction said it would continue with four members.

Last week Malik flew home from a tour stop in the Philippines, citing stress.

Malik's departure from the tour came after he hit back at rumors of trouble in his relationship with fiancee Perrie Edwards of the band Little Mix.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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