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Watch Zayn Malik Thank His 1D Bandmates In This Emotional Speech

'The things that we did will stay with me for the rest of my life and I thank you for that.'

In his first solo appearance since leaving One Direction to become “a normal 22-year-old,” Zayn Malik made some (literal) buzz-worthy headlines with his latest startling transformation.

Appearing at the Asian Awards in London on Friday (April 17), Zayn sported a newly-shaved head and a nose stud as he walked the red carpet alongside his stunning mom, Trisha.

But it was inside the show where Zayn really stole the spotlight. Accepting the award for Outstanding Contribution to Music, he admitted, “I’m not really a guy of many words normally…but I have to say thank you for this. This is an amazing evening.”

After drawing laughs by continuing, “I’d like to thank my mum and dad for making me Asian,” Zayn payed tribute to his friends and former bandmates in 1D. “I’d also like to take this moment to thank four of the best guys I’ve ever met whilst being in a band and doing all the amazing things that I did. The things that we did will stay with me for the rest of my life and I thank you for that.”

He capped his speech on a cheerful, optimistic note, saying, “Here’s to the future.”

Clearly there’s no bad blood between Zayn and the boys, and we love that he’s remembering his friends fondly before kicking off the next chapter of his career.