Zayn Malik

Zayn Malik photographed on Nov. 30, 2015 in Beverly Hills, Calif.

Miller Mobley

No One Direction, no problem. Zayn Malik’s solo career should get off to a hot start with a No. 1 debut for “Pillowtalk” (RCA) when the new U.K. charts are published this Friday.

Malik’s debut single, released last Friday (Jan. 30), is currently 23,000 combined sales ahead of its closest competitor, Jonas Blue & Dakota’s “Fast Car” (Positiva) at the midway stage of the chart cycle, according to the Official Charts Company.

Zayn Malik Brings 'Pillowtalk' to No. 1 on the Billboard + Twitter Trending 140

It’s a considerable lead, the OCC notes, and Malik should have no trouble topping the chart. Malik is familiar with life in the penthouse. He scored three No. 1 singles with 1D ("What Makes You Beautiful", "Little Things," "One Way Or Another") before leaving the pop group last year. 

Rihanna’s “Work” (Roc Nation), lifted from the new album Anti and featuring Drake, leaps 13-3 on the Official Singles Chart Update, while Shawn Mendes’ "Stitches" (EMI) drops 1-4, and Justin Bieber’s “Love Yourself” (Def Jam) falls 2-5.

Meanwhile, Sia’s This is Acting (Monkey Puzzle/RCA) is the best-selling album at the mid-week stage. The Aussie singer-songwriter’s seventh studio album, a collection of works she wrote for others others but were ultimately rejected, has a lead of 4,000 combined sales over the David Bowie hits set Best Of Bowie (Rhino), which rises 4-2 on the Official Albums Update.

Sia: The Billboard Cover Story

Charlie Puth arrives at No. 3 on the chart update with his debut album Nine Track Mind (Atlantic), while Rihanna’s surprise ANTi release starts at No. 4. Just 210 combined sales separate the two albums, the OCC notes. Bowie’s final studio album Blackstar (Columbia/ISO) completes the top five while Adele’s multi-platinum hit 25 currently sits at No. 6, down from No. 2. 

U.S. metal band Dream Theater and British indie rock band Bloc Party are on track for top 10 debuts with their respective new albums, The Astonishing (at No. 8 via Roadrunner) and Hymns (at No. 10 via BMG).