Who can forget when Robbie Williams broke our hearts and left Take That...?

Wednesday March 25 will go down in history as Zayn Malik announced he was leaving One Direction.

The 22-year-old claimed it was the ‘right time’ to leave the boyband, and after five incredible years, he now wants to ‘relax and have some private time out of the spotlight.’

The 1D statement has explained that the group will continue as a four piece, comprising of Harry StylesLiam Payne, Louis Tomlinson and Niall Horan.

Question is, will they stand the true test of time after suffering the loss of Zayn? Or, will this spark the demise of One Direction?

As it’s Thursday and we’re feeling all #TBT-like, what better time to look back at these famous nineties groups, and what happened to them when they lost a band member…



On May 31 1998, Geri Halliwell AKA Ginger Spice, ditched the Union Jack dress and sky-high platforms, announcing that she was leaving the group. She’d already missed two concerts, sparking rumours that something wasn’t quite right…

At the time, Geri said:

‘This is a message to the fans, sadly I would like to confirm I have left the Spice Girls, this is because of differences between us. I am sure that the group will continue to be successful, and I wish them all the best. I have no immediate plans and I wish to apologise to all the fans and to thank them and everyone who’s been there. Lots of love Geri. PS: I will be back.’

The other four Spice Girls announced: ‘The Spice Girls are here to stay.’


Well, Mel BMel CVictoria Beckham and Emma Bunton continued to release catchy tunes including Forever and Goodbye, although without Geri, they were just never quite the same.
Sadly, the Spice Girls called it a day in 2001.



Robbie left Take That in 1995 after his drug abuse began to cause major tensions within the group.

Howard Donald revealed: ‘The thing is we smoked weed and giggled like idiots. And before Take That I dabbled with drugs LSD mainly. Robbie was different. He has a more addictive personality.’


Gary Barlow, Howard Donald, Mark Owen and Jason Orange didn’t carry on for long. In fact, they split in February 1996 after completing their Nobody Else tour.
They just weren’t the same without Robbie, who actually went on to have a seriously impressive solo career…

Robbie‘s drug-taking days are long behind him and he’s since admitted: ‘I was so deep into addiction I knew I was probably going to die soon but I didn’t care.’



On May 9 2004, five became four as Brian McFadden bid farewell to Westlife.
At the time, Brian said: ‘It’s to do with me. It’s hard to juggle two lives when you’ve got a family. I want to concentrate on my family and being at home as much as I can.’

The remaining Westlife members reached out to their fans saying: ‘We have shared our dreams. We understand and respect your decision. From the bottom of our hearts we love you. At this moment we just hope the fans stay with us, we need them now more than ever. We need their support and so does Bryan.’


Whilst we all thought our days of crooning along to Season In The Sun and Flying Without Wings were well and truly over, the other four Irish heartthrobs, Shane Filan, Mark Feehily, Nicky Byrne and Kian Egan continued to thrive as a four-piece and released a whopping 8 ALBUMS before announcing their split in 2012.

Despite all three of these groups carrying on as foursomes, things just weren’t quite the same after Geri Halliwell, Brian McFadden and Robbie Williams announced they were leaving.

Could Zayn‘s devastating departure from One Direction mark the beginning of the end for the globally renowned boy band? We really hope not!

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Lucy Gornall