Yesterday, the world was left in shambles when Zayn Malik of One Direction officially announced he would be leaving the boy band in pursuit of a quieter, less stressful lifestyle. This isn’t the first time a beloved 1D member has decided to walk away from the spotlight. Many legends have come before Malik, artists who pioneered the musical landscape and paved the path for the band’s success in the years to follow. In light of the latest devastating loss, the Kumquat has decided to take a moment to look back on the best of One Direction’s former members.
When Phil Collins left One Direction in the early 1980s, widespread heartache plagued super-fans everywhere. Collins had redefined the band’s image at the time and had brought their lyrical prowess to new and unexplored heights. Some still argue that Collins had even better hair than Harry Styles, despite current popular opinion.
Eric Clapton left One Direction in 1968 after claiming that Niall and Louis constantly hogged the Xbox and never paid enough attention to him when he wanted to talk about his girl problems. Despite the personality clashes that occurred behind the scenes, there was no denying the onstage chemistry the band had when Clapton was part of the equation. Their tours during the Clapton-era always sold out within seconds and fandom had surged to an all time high.
Michael Jackson was always quick to bring the party when 1D hit the clubs post-show. Known for penning many of the band’s hits, including “Best Song Ever” and “Steal My Girl”, Jackson undoubtedly made a huge contribution to the band’s popularity. He left in the late 1970s, and though he’s done okay since, critics still argue that it was probably the worst move he could have made, based on the wild success he had during his time as a 1Directioner.
Diana Ross was most well known for her quirky sense of humor and adorable dance moves during her time with One Direction. In 1970, she decided to move on without the band, anxious to pursue her own career and get away from the paparazzi. She still credits 1D for most of her success, and is always quick to give a well-deserved nod to the geniuses behind The X Factor, the show that brought them together in the first place.
Sting’s image graced the bedroom walls of preteen girls everywhere during his turn with One Direction. In addition to having the sweet, syrupy voice that defined the band’s sound for years to come, he was the perfect combination of sexy, cute, and oh-so drool-worthy. Fans still hold out that Sting had the best eyes out of all the boys, and definitely the best bod, especially in those low-cut V-necks he used to wear before he left the band in 1983.
There is no denying that Ozzy was—and always will be—the biggest heartthrob that One Direction has ever had. Forget what people are saying about Zayn; Ozzy’s sharp good looks and charming smile made him the tween sensation that has yet to be rivaled following his boot from the band in 1979 after heavy drug and alcohol abuse. And ugh, the way that he and Liam used to goof around onstage together was just the cutest, wasn’t it?