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Zayn Malik life story! The highs and lows of Zayn Malik’s journey from shy teenager on The X Factor to chart-topping heartthrob in the world’s biggest boyband

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He had to be persuaded to go to his first audition for The X Factor, but just five years later Zayn Malik was one fifth of the biggest boy band on the planet.

Today though, the 22-year-old dramatically quit the group that has netted him £14 million and millions of adoring fans.

It all could have been so different for the Bradford-born teen, after he stepped onto the stage of The X Factor in 2010 to audition for Simon Cowell.

From the X Factor to the world stage: Zayn Malik announced he has quit One Direction today after a five year journey that started on The X Factor 

From the X Factor to the world stage: Zayn Malik announced he has quit One Direction today after a five year journey that started on The X Factor

Zayn was just 17 when he auditioned as a solo singer on the seventh series of the ITV talent show in the summer of 2010.

He may have nailed his first song, singing Mario’s Let Me Love You, but the star’s mother Trisha Malik later admitted in 2013 that her son had to be persuaded to go to the audition.

Speaking to BBC News, Trisha Malik said: ‘On the morning of the audition Zayn didn’t want to go. He chickened out, saying: ‘Can’t I just leave it?”

Singing helped Zayn through some difficult school years, with the British-Pakistani star admitting he had to switch between several comprehensives when growing up because he felt he didn’t ‘fit in’ as ‘the only mixed-heritage kid in my class’.

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