Zayn Malik’s image was removed from a video montage introducing the band at the first One Direction gig since he announced his departure.
The boy band performed last night for the first time since Malik announced he was quitting after five years with the “Best Song Ever” singers to become “a normal 22-year-old”.
Niall Horan and Louis Tomlinson are reported to have picked up Zayn’s solos at Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Harry Styles told the crowd “You have no idea how much we love you right now”, according to social media reports.
Last Wednesday, as news of Zayn’s departure was breaking around the world, Styles was photographed crying onstage in Jakarta.
In an official statement issued last week, One Direction said: “We're really sad to see Zayn go, but we totally respect his decision and send him all our love for the future. The past five years have been beyond amazing, we've gone through so much together, so we will always be friends.
“The four of us will now continue. We're looking forward to recording the new album and seeing all the fans on the next stage of the world tour.”
Malik walked away from One Direction’s world tour after being signed off with stress a week before releasing a statement admitting he’d left for good.
"I'd like to apologise to the fans if I've let anyone down, but I have to do what feels right," he said.
Malik is reportedly now embarking on a solo career and will release future material through Simon Cowell’s Syco label.
The 22-year-old is reportedly already working with producer Naughty Boy, the mastermind behind Sam Smith’s Grammy-winning debut album.
"Simon was very understanding about him leaving the band but quickly made it clear he would stay a Syco artist for his future projects,” an unnamed source told The Sun.
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