Yesterday, Zayn Malik was slated to perform at Capital FM’s Summertime Ball, among other top acts such as Ariana Grande and Little Mix. As Zayn had only performed a handful of times since the release of his debut solo album ‘Mind of Mine’ in March, fans unsurprisingly flocked to Wembley Stadium to see him. But they were left waiting.
No details were released right up until Zayn’s set time, when Tinie Tempah took the stage in Zayn’s absence. Disappointed and unsympathetic fans used social media, naturally, to express their dismay when it was announced that Zayn was too ill to perform.
Guys, we're absolutely gutted that @zaynmalik is unable to perform tonight due to illness. We know you're with us in wishing him better.
— Capital (@CapitalOfficial) June 11, 2016
“Illness” turned out to be, in Zayn’s own words, “the worst anxiety of [his] career.” He also took to social media to express himself, posting a photo to twitter with a lengthy message:
— zayn (@zaynmalik) June 11, 2016
Those who’ve followed Zayn since the start of his career with One Direction know the singer frequently faded into the background during interviews, choosing to let the other four band members handle questions all while maintaining his persona as the “mysterious one.” Turns out the mystery might’ve been a battle with anxiety this whole time.
During a recent week of massive celebrity breakups (Taylor Swift and Calvin Harris called it quits, quickly followed by Demi Lovato and Wilmer Valderrama), rumors flew that Zayn and Gigi Hadid were also on the rocks. After being photographed holding hands leaving a New York City hotel just days before the Summertime Ball, Gigi at least quashed the idea that the two aren’t still supportive of each other by tweeting this in direct response to Zayn’s canceled gig:
Similar to the last sentence of Zayn’s message (“I know those who suffer anxiety will understand and I hope those who don’t can empathize with my situation”), Gigi wrote, “Those who can find compassion now are the ones that deserve to watch you continue to grow.”
The reminder to be sympathetic is important: if Zayn had broken his leg prior to the show, he would’ve needed to cancel his show and seek medical help. Suffering from something as debilitating as anxiety requires the Exact. Same. Thing.
Thank you for your kind messages of support. It means a lot. X
— zayn (@zaynmalik) June 12, 2016