Rebecca Ferguson and Zayn Malik have split up.
The X Factor runner-up Rebecca announced the news via Twitter, writing: "I’m happy to say I’ve decided to be single, my children my family and my career are now my world!!” The message was later deleted.
The pair first went public with their relationship in May and said love had blossomed during The X Factor Live tour earlier this year. “We're really in love... I want people to know that I'm happy, he's happy and we're in a loving, caring relationship,” Rebecca said at the time.
But some said the unlikely couple were doomed from the start due to their age difference – the One Direction singer is only 18, while Rebecca turned 25 on 21 July and is a mum-of-two. But she dismissed the critics with an angry tweet: “There's only six years difference. I mean, Madonna does it and she gets a round of applause. It's like, ‘Go on Madge!’”
But the soulful singer did admit that she initially resisted the boyband star. “I'm going to be really honest... he was after me for months,” she said in May. “I was like, ‘No, you're too young’. But he really wooed me and it was a long, long struggle before anything happened.”
As for Zayn, he didn’t seem to be taking the break-up too hard – yesterday he wrote on his Twitter page: “Partaay yay ;)”
One Direction’s debut single is out in September; Rebecca’s will follow in November.