Zain Javadd Malik is a British singer. Born and raised in Bradford, Malik auditioned as a solo contestant for the British music competition television series The X Factor in 2010. After being eliminated, Malik was brought back to the competition to form the five-piece boy band One Direction, which went on to become one of the best-selling boy bands of all time. He left the group in March 2015 and signed a solo recording contract with RCA Records.
Adopting a more alternative R&B music style on his first solo studio album, Mind of Mine (2016), and its lead single, "Pillowtalk", Malik became the first British male artist to debut at number one in both the UK and US with his debut single and album. His subsequent collaborative singles "I Don't Wanna Live Forever" with Taylor Swift and "Dusk Till Dawn" featuring Sia were met with international success. Malik released his second studio album, Icarus Falls, in 2018, followed by his third album, Nobody Is Listening, in 2021.
Malik has received several accolades, including an American Music Award and a MTV Video Music Award. He is the only artist to have won the Billboard Music Award for New Artist of the Year twice, receiving it once as a member of One Direction in 2013 and again in 2017 as a soloist.
Zayn Malik was born Zain Javadd Malik on 12 January 1993 in Bradford, West Yorkshire, England, to an immigrant Pakistani Muslim father, Yaser Malik, and a White British mother of English and Irish descent, Trisha Malik (née Brannan), who converted to Islam upon marriage. Malik has one older sister, Doniya, and two younger sisters, Waliyha and Safaa. He had an Islamic upbringing, although he no longer identifies as a Muslim.
Malik grew up in East Bowling, Bradford, in a working-class family and neighbourhood. He attended Lower Fields Primary School and Tong High School (now Tong Leadership Academy) in Bradford. As a teenager, he took performing arts courses and appeared in school productions. He grew up listening to his father's urban music records, primarily R&B, hip hop, and reggae. He wrote raps when he was at school and sang on stage for the first time when singer Jay Sean visited his school. Malik also boxed for two years, from ages 15 to 17. Before beginning his music career, he intended to pursue an academic degree in English in hopes of becoming an English teacher.
Raised as a Muslim, Malik speaks English and Urdu and can read Arabic. In the past, he was a target of anti-Muslim attacks. In 2017, Malik stated that he identified as a non-practising Muslim and did not want to be defined by his religion or cultural background. In November 2018, he told British Vogue that he no longer considered himself a Muslim.
Malik has openly spoken about suffering from an eating disorder while in One Direction, which he attributed to the overwhelming workload and pace of life on tour. He has also spoken about suffering from anxiety and lack of confidence, especially before live solo performances, having cancelled multiple concerts after experiencing "the worst anxiety" of his career.
Malik is a lifelong supporter of Bradford City A.F.C. He owns an apartment in SoHo, Manhattan, and previously owned homes in Los Angeles and London, both of which he sold in 2018.
Malik dated fellow X Factor contestant Geneva Lane of Belle Amie from 2010 to 2011. Malik dated X Factor contestant Rebecca Ferguson for several months afterwards, until July 2011, and actress Stephanie Davis in the same year. Malik began dating English singer Perrie Edwards of the band Little Mix in December 2011; they became engaged in August 2013 but broke up in August 2015.
Malik began an on-again, off-again relationship with American model Gigi Hadid in late 2015. Hadid starred in his music video for "Pillowtalk", and the pair appeared together on the August 2017 cover of Vogue. In 2017, Hadid photographed them both for a Versace campaign. Malik and Hadid welcomed their first child, a daughter, in September 2020. The family spent a majority of their time at their residence on a working farm in rural Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where Malik tended to horses and cows and Hadid's mother Yolanda and sister Bella also own land. Malik and Hadid ended their relationship in October 2021, after Hadid's mother accused him of striking her; Malik entered a no contest plea to four charges of harassment. Court papers stated that Malik "grabbed and shoved her into a dresser causing mental anguish and physical pain" and said "lewd, lascivious, threatening or obscene words". He was sentenced by a Pennsylvania court to 360 days of probation and completion of anger management and domestic violence education programmes.