When asked about Zayn on the Hughesy and Kate radio show, Ed had this grounded opinion about fame and happiness, explaining: "I think...whatever makes him happy. The most important thing in life is to be happy, and if he was unhappy in that situation, then yeah, don't stay in it, you know? You don't want to make yourself unhappy just to earn money. That's not what life's about. You're meant to enjoy life. And if he wasn't enjoying his life, then...fair play to him."
Simon, who put together One Direction back in the day, weighed in on Zayn's departure on Twitter, writing: "Sometimes strength is not defined by numbers." He added, "As always you the fans have shown your amazing support to all the boys. When you have great talent great things happen."
Geri Halliwell, Ginger Spice of Spice Girls fame, has the most first-hand experience with leaving a band behind. She popped on Twitter around the time the world was having a full-on meltdown over Zayn quitting to write: "Hello, thinking of you. Hope whatever is going on in your life it's going well. X"
While it wasn't directed to Zayn personally, many think she was reaching out to the former (sniffle) 1D star to offer her support.
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Gallery | One Direction's Instagram: Best of Zayn Malik