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Malik thanks 1D at Asian Awards

Published 18/04/2015

Zayn Malik made his first solo appearance since quitting One Direction at the Asian Awards in central London
Zayn Malik made his first solo appearance since quitting One Direction at the Asian Awards in central London

Zayn Malik has paid tribute to his former bandmates as he made his first solo appearance since quitting One Direction.

The 22-year-old was presented with the award for Outstanding Contribution to Music at the fifth Annual Asian Awards.

Describing himself as "not really a guy of many words" and referencing the fact his bandmates normally made the speeches at such events, Malik told the audience he had had an "amazing" time with the world-famous pop act.

He said: "I'd also like to take this moment to thank four of the best guys that I ever met whilst being in the band and doing all the amazing things that I did.

"Some of the things that we did will stay with me for the rest of my life."

Malik, who quit One Direction last month after jetting back to Britain from the boyband's tour having been ''signed off with stress'', released a statement at the time saying he wanted to spend time as a "normal 22-year-old" away from the spotlight.

A track leaked online shortly after his departure from the band was thought to indicate Malik had put his vocals to a solo track with music producer Naughty Boy - real name Shahid Khan - but it later emerged that it was recorded for the boyband's last album.

Malik ended his speech at the awards ceremony at Grosvenor House Hotel in London's Park Lane last night, with a nod to things to come, saying: "Here's to the future."

The performer, who said he was "honoured" to receive the award, debuted a shaved head hairdo when he arrived with his mother, his date for the evening as he left fiancee Perrie Edwards at home.

He refused to answer questions on the red carpet but spent time signing autographs for fans who were overcome with emotion at meeting him.

After he entered the hotel a tussle broke out among the crowd of fans as they argued about his new hairstyle.

Also recognised at the awards, which celebrate excellence across the global Pan-Asian community, were Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan, fashion designer John Rocha and cricketer Kumar Sangakkara.

The event, hosted by TV presenter Gok Wan, saw an exclusive preview performance of Gurinder Chadha's upcoming West End show, Bend It Like Beckham - The Musical, adapted from the 2002 film starring Parminder Nagra and Keira Knightley.

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