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Simon Cowell Breaks His Silence On Zayn’s 1D Split, Solo Career

'He's a fantastic singer,' Cowell said.

Take it from the man who put One Direction together: Everything is going to be fine. In his first on-camera comments about Zayn Malik's departure from 1D, "Britain's Got Talent" judge and 1D label boss Simon Cowell said he totally gets why Malik split, and is happy to wait for the 22-year-old singer to figure out what he wants to do.

"He's a fantastic singer. Um, look, he's got to get his head together a little bit," Cowell told Sugarscape. "He needs some time on his own, as he said, to be a normal 22-year-old, which he's gonna have."

Though he said the rest of the boys were "surprised and shocked" at the announcement, they've gotten over it at this point. OK, that's stretching it, but things are getting better. "Well, not got over it; got used to it," Cowell said. "They've been professional and they're respecting the fans who've turned up to see a great show and that's what they're doing."

At the same Thursday night event celebrating the ninth season of "Talent," Cowell dodged the one question everyone has on their mind: When will Zayn release some solo material? Asked if he would sign Malik to a contract, Cowell was his usual canny self. "I can't give anything away," he said. "My main concern is that he's fine, the boys are good."

In the meantime, we just have to take producer Naughty Boy's word for it that Zayn is "under so much stress" right now, and keep listening to "I Won't Mind" on repeat until Simon makes up his mind.

So, for now, Cowell said he's just focused on keeping everyone happy, healthy and working. "I've always said to all of them, 'the future's bright for all of you depending on what you want to do,'" he told Sugarscape. "We've always hoped that One Direction would stay together for a long time and my hunch is it still will. They're just too good for everything to stop now... you can't work together for this long if you're not friends. You have little spats, everyone does."