Simon Cowell has broken his silence about Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction insisting the singer has "got to get his head together".
The TV and music mogul, who helped create the boy band on the U.K.'s The X Factor in 2010 and then signed the act to his Syco Records label, released a brief statement following Malik's announcement last month (Mar15), and now he has opened up about the young star's shock decision in a new interview with SugarScape.
Cowell says, "He's a fantastic singer. Look, he's got to get his head together a little bit. He needs some time on his own, as he said, to be a normal 22-year-old, which he's gonna have."
But the group's record company boss insists Malik's departure won't upset his grand plans for One Direction, adding, "I've always said to all of them, the future's bright depending on what you want to do. We've always hoped that One Direction would stay together for a long time and my hunch is it still will. They're just too good for everything to stop now."
Asked how Malik's now-former bandmates are dealing with his decision to quit, Cowell explains, "They were surprised and shocked but now they've... got used to it, and they're being professional and respecting the fans who turned up to see a great show."
The singer left the boy band towards the end of the group's Asian tour. The remaining four members will continue a world tour without him.