Zayn Malik's 5 Best One Direction Solos

Karwai Tang/WireImage
Zayn Malik of One Direction attends a photocall to launch their new film 'One Direction: This Is Us 3D' held at the Blue Sky Studios on August 19, 2013 in London, England. 

vAfter five years, Zayn Malik officially left One Direction on Mar. 25. The 22-year-old confirmed the news on Facebook, where the group also noted they would go on without him as a four-piece.

While he had taken a leave of absence from the group's current world tour last week citing "stress," the announcement still was unexpected, to say the least. In the years since 1D's rise to the top of the pop heap (during which they five handedly made boy bands cool again), Malik's singing voice offered up a unique edge among his 1D peers. It also really worked as the group embraced a folkier, rock sound on their last two releases.

One Direction's Zayn Malik Officially Leaves Group

While it's unclear what's next for Malik in his post-1D life, there's still the music he made with One Direction. Here are Zayn's five best solos.

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"You & I"

Album: Midnight Memories

Near the end of the moving track, Malik busts out this beautiful, soaring high note that seems to perfectly sum up the romance of the love ballad. It proved to be a stand-out moment on the tune.

"Story of My Life"

Album: Midnight Memories

While he offers up his vocals on his own verse (which is also pretty solid), when it comes to the bridge it's a repeat moment thanks to Malik's ability to emote quite effectively.

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"Night Changes"

Album: Four

The track opens with Malik lamenting, showing he had the ability to add some gravitas to the 1D repertoire. His vocals always gave off a raw kind of vibe.

"Little Things"

Album: Take Me Home

The 2012 track was one of the first where 1D put their own pop spin on folk music. And it was clear even then that Malik's vocals could lend itself to the sugary pop that made the guys famous, and a more organic vibe. By allowing him to kick off this song, it really set the tone for the slow jam, penned by Ed Sheeran.

"Live While We're Young"

Album: Take Me Home

As silly as "Live While We're Young" is sonically (it's just so happy!) given the group's current vibe, there's something about the way that Zayn belted out the bridge. He tells some lucky lady "we're about to make some memories tonight," and demonstrated his abilities as a singer -- and a heartthrob.

Zayn Malik Leaves One Direction