One Direction star Liam Payne has assured fans the group is "far from over" following bandmate Zayn Malik's shock decision to quit on Wednesday (25Mar15).
Malik announced he was leaving because he wanted a "normal" life away from the spotlight, and devastated fans from all over the world have poured out their feelings on social media.
On Thursday (26Mar15), Payne, 21, took to Twitter in a bid to console fans who are still trying to come to terms with the fact their pop idol has quit One Direction.
He wrote, "In light of recent events I think this is important to say. For the past five years now I’ve been part of something so special I don’t think any of us really understand, something that can mean the world to people and put a smile on the face of our fans even in the darkest times. To a lot of people it’s just a bunch of silly kids in a band but to the people involved it means so much more.
"This last week has been some of the worst times, possibly the worst. It’s something we are all deeply saddened by. It’s sad to think for the time being we won’t grace the stage as five bros (brothers) or have the same fun on a tour bus or laughs in a hotel together that we have over the years but I’m super sure us and zayn will always remain the closest friends."
He adds, "I guess what I’m really trying to say is it’s far from over. When we very 1st became successful we all agreed that one direction had become much bigger than each individual member that’s why I feel like right now it’s ok to be sad and upset but I do ask everyone who is a fan of us to please keep ur faith in us I’m sure there’s a lot more to come."
Payne and bandmates Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson and Niall Horan wrapped the Asian leg of their On the Road Again Tour in Indonesia hours after Malik's big announcement on Wednesday, and the new-look quartet is scheduled to hit the stage for a few dates in South Africa, beginning on Saturday (28Mar15).