The former One Direction stars speech may make you cry

After presumably one of the most difficult months of his life, this evening Zayn Malik has made his first public appearance since quitting One Direction at the Fifth Annual The Asian Awards.

The Bradford born singer spectacularly made his return to the spotlight with a shock new look after shaving his head, and happily posed with delighted fans on the red carpet before heading into the showbiz bash. 

Once inside the former boy bander took to the stage to accept the award for Outstanding Contribution to Music after being hailed as ‘one of the most influential music artists of our time’ by the judges.

While accepting the award, Zayn said: ‘I’d like to thank my mum and dad, and I’d also like to take this moment to thank four of the best guys I’ve ever met [in One Direction], everything I’ve done with them will stay with me for the rest of my life.’

Joined by close friend and music producer Naughty Boy at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane for the event, his pal told us: ‘He’s a good friend of mine, and in this business it’s hard to make good friends. I’m so excited for him to be getting his award.’

The 30-year-old music mogul was also keen to address the recently leaked solo track he’d produced for the singer, revealing: ‘The leaked demo wasn’t a single. There’s no campaign or agenda, we’re just music people getting creative. There’s no plan, he’s just going to be himself. He’s more relaxed now because he’s more in control. And that’s not to do with making music, that’s to do with his life.’

‘Zayn’s doing what he said he would, he’s going to be a normal 22-year-old,’ Naughty continued. ‘He might learn the guitar, who knows.’

This isn’t the first time Zayn has supported the annual event which celebrates excellence across the global of Pan-Asian, the singer and Naughty Boy attended last year with former EastEnders star Preeya Kalidas and broadcaster Jasmine Dotiwala.

WATCH! Zayn Malik thanks One Direction as he accepts Asian Award

WATCH! Zayn Malik arrives at The Asian Awards

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 Joshua Fox