Zayn Malik was scheduled to appear at Summertime Ball 2016 in London on Saturday night (June 11) but called off his set due to anxiety. The “Pillowtalk” singer opened up to fans – and issued an apology to those who were waiting to see him perform live Wembley Stadium — with a candid note posted on his Twitter account.
“To all those people who have been waiting to see me perform at the Capital Summertime Ball today,” he began, “I flew into the UK last night to appear in my home country in front of my family, friends, and most importantly my UK fans. Unfortunately my anxiety that has haunted me throughout the last few months around live performances has gotten the better of me … with the magnitude of the event, I have suffered the worst anxiety of my career.”
“I cannot apologise enough but I want to be honest with everyone who has patiently waited to see me, I promise I will do my best to make this up to everybody I’ve let down today. I know those who suffer anxiety will understand and I hope those who don’t can empathise with my situation,” wrote Malik, who announced his departure from One Direction in 2015 (explaining that he wanted to be “able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight”) and has since released a solo album, Mind of Mine.
— zayn (@zaynmalik) June 11, 2016
A rep for Malik offered no comment when asked by Billboard about plans for rescheduling a concert.
Fellow Brit Ellie Goulding showed support for Malik with a retweet of his letter. “Anxiety is real… I know the feeling,” she wrote in response to the note.
Anxiety is real… I know the feeling https://t.co/Tt18LZJWsU
— Ellie Goulding (@elliegoulding) June 12, 2016
Other artists, from the White Stripes to George Michael, have cited anxiety as a reason for canceling concerts in the past. The White Stripes cut their 2007 tour short when Meg White was suffering from “acute anxiety,” while Michael called off a string of Australian dates in 2012 due to “major anxiety” experienced following a serious battle with pneumonia.
New Kids on the Block’s Jonathan Knight has also spoken candidly about having anxiety and panic attacks in his days with the group in the ‘90s. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, he was quoted as saying, “The whole New Kids thing was crazy. The more it grew, the more I just felt like I was trapped. I just always had this feeling inside me of always being nervous and afraid of situations.”
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