One Direction Plays 'Today' Show Without Zayn Malik; Matt Lauer Asks if Substance Abuse Is to Blame

One Direction at iHeartRadio 2014
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Niall Horan, Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Zayne Malik, and Louis Tomlinson of music group One Direction pose in the press room at the iHeartRadio Music Festival Night 2 at the MGM Grand Resort and Casino on September 20, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. 

One Direction hit the Today show in Orlando this morning (Nov. 17) to promote their new album, Four -- but unfortunately they performed with a man down. Zayn Malik was absent, and not for the first time: He was also missing in the videos the band made to accept their recent awards from the MTV EMAs.

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According to Liam Payne, Malik was having stomach issues. "He's got a tummy bug so he's not very well," Payne explained. "We only found out this morning, so we're really sad, he is as well, that he can't be here for our album release."

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However, Today host Matt Lauer didn't entirely believe this excuse. "Is it something more serious than just a minor illness?" he wondered, mentioning "rumors of substance abuse" and asking, "When's he gonna rejoin the band?"

A rep for the band told Billboard they don't have further comment regarding Malik beyond what Payne said. 

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