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One Direction Gives First Interview Following Zayn Malik's Departure

CANNES, FRANCE - DECEMBER 13:  One Direction member Zayn' Malik attends the NRJ Music Awards at Palais des Festivals on Decem
CANNES, FRANCE - DECEMBER 13: One Direction member Zayn' Malik attends the NRJ Music Awards at Palais des Festivals on December 13, 2014 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

One Direction has finally opened up about the departure of band member Zayn Malik. In an interview with The Sun on Friday, the band members expressed sadness about losing Malik, but also said they're determined to keep performing and recording in his absence.

"It's been a tough few weeks, probably the toughest since the band was formed five years ago," Liam Payne told the British newspaper, according to People. "We're gutted that Zayn chose to leave, but now after a few performances as a four-piece, we're feeling confident and are determined to carry on stronger than ever."

Malik announced he was leaving One Direction late last month, explaining his departure in a Facebook post on the band's official page. "I am leaving because I want to be a normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight."

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