Zayn Malik Shows Off Shaved Head, Thanks One Direction At Asian Awards

Pop star uses public appearance to pay tribute to his former bandmates...

Zayn Malik has made his first public appearance since his dramatic exit from One Direction - and used the opportunity to thank the rest of the group.

Showing off a newly shaved barnet, the 22-year-old hunk collected an award for his "Outstanding Contribution to Music" at London's swanky Grosvenor House Hotel.

He was handed the gong by producer Naughty Boy, with whom he's reported to be working on solo material.

The hitmaker said: "Every man needs to follow his own destiny... He has achieved in five years what some of us would achieve in a lifetime."

But Zayn was keen to focus on healing any wounds from his departure from 1D - and thanked "four of the best guys I've ever met".

He said: "I'm massively overwhelmed to be here tonight... Tonight's about thanks.

"I'm not really a man of many words. It’s humbling to be on the same stage as people I've looked up to my entire life, like (Bollywood legend) Shah Rukh Khan.

"Thanks to God... to align me to be able to do all these things, my mum and dad for making me Asian, and allowing me to have an effect on the Asian community is a huge honour.

"And to four guys who were with me the whole time and gave me the best experience... Can't thank you enough."

He also stressed that his time in 1D would "stay with me for the rest of my life".

Meanwhile Simon Cowell has been sharing on his reaction to Zayn's 1D bombshell during an appearance on James Corden's chat show in the US.

"I was just about to jump off a cliff," the pop tycoon joked.

"I was trying to say to him he should stay around a bit longer. But something inside him said he'd had enough. I saw him in person as well - but once someone has made their mind up they are going to go.

"At the same time I don't want to push him too much because he's 22 and I could see he was a bit stressed and needed some time off.

"I dealt with it then I made sure the guys were OK – because they were shocked as well. So I had to respect his decision. For the boys it was interesting because they were in the middle of these live shows at the time."

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