Zayn Malik, ex-One Direction member, returned to stage May 17, 2024, after releasing Room Under the Stairs, his fourth album. The 31-year-old singer’s comeback was met with overwhelming support and enthusiasm from fans and industry peers alike.

The one-night-only concert, held at London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire, was a sell-out event, with tickets disappearing within mere seconds of their release. Malik’s return to live performance was a deeply emotional experience, both for him and his audience. The soulful singer performed a captivating set featuring six tracks from his latest album, showcasing his introspective lyrics and voice.

Malik’s struggle with mental health is no secret. Since leaving One Direction in 2015, he’s openly discussed anxiety and the impact of public scrutiny on his well-being. The singer’s decision to step back from the limelight was crucial for his recovery, allowing him to focus on his mental health and personal growth.


The pressures of being in One Direction, one of the world’s biggest boy bands, undoubtedly played a significant role in Malik’s struggles. The group’s rise to fame came with a relentless schedule, intense media attention, and high expectations from fans and industry professionals which Malik has talked about in the past.

Zayn Malik combating anxiety to continue performing.

Getty Images/Dave Benett

After going solo in 2015, Malik planned several live performances, including a prominent set at Summertime Ball 2016. However, he pulled out of these events due to social anxiety.

He addressed the cancellation in an Instagram post, “Unfortunately, anxiety, which has haunted me […] has got the better of me.”

Malik added, “With the magnitude of the event, I have suffered the worst anxiety of my career.”

“I cannot apologize enough, but I want to be honest with everyone who has patiently waited to see me,” he continued. “I promise I will do my best to make this up to everybody I’ve let down today.

“[T]hose who suffer from anxiety will understand, and I hope those who don’t can empathize with my situation.”

Malik’s return to the stage is more than just a comeback; it’s a testament to his strength and determination. As he continues to inspire fans around the world with his music and his story, there’s no doubt that this performance marks the beginning of an exciting new era for the beloved artist.

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