The British singer Zain Javadd Malik, popularly known as Zayn Malik turns 29 today. Malik had auditioned for the British X Factor in 2010. After being eliminated from the show in 2010, he was brought back into the competition along with four others to form the boy band ‘One Direction’ which soon became a global sensation.
Malik then quit the band in 2015 to sign a solo recording contract with RCA Records after which he released his debut studio album Mind of Mine in 2016 with its lead single ‘Pillowtalk’ that made him the first British male artist to debut at number one in UK and US.
Malik bagged several awards including an American Music Award and an MTV Video Music Award. He is also the only artist to win the Billboard Music Award for New Artist of the Year twice, one as a member of One Direction and again in 2017 as a solo artist.
Here are 99 facts about Zayn Malik that you probably did not know:
1. Zayn Malik was born on January 12, 1993, in St Luke’s Hospital, Bradford. He was the second oldest member of One Direction after Louis before he quit the band in 2015.
2. Zayn was brought up in Bradford, West Yorkshire. The locality has been home to other celebrities like magician Dynamo, Kimberley Walsh from Girls Aloud, Kaiser Chiefs frontman Ricky Wilson and Gareth Gates.
3. Zayn’s favourite book is Harry Potter.
4. Zayn once fancied Megan Fox and has a secret man crush on Justin Timberlake.
5. Zayn is a sapiosexual and has always had a soft spot for intelligent girls.
6. *NSYNC is Zayn’s favourite band of all time.
7. Zayn can’t swim and has Aquaphobia, despite which he likes sharks – especially hammerheads.
8. Zayn’s last name Malik in Arabic means ‘king’ or ‘chieftain’.
9. Zayn’s X Factor audition wasn’t broadcast on the main show. When he had progressed further it was shown retrospectively on spinoff The Xtra Factor.
10. Despite living in Bradford, Zayn is a Manchester United fan, and so were his One Direction bandmates Louis and Harry.
11. Zayn’s name is actually spelt with an ‘i’ (Zain) but he thinks ‘Zayn’ looks more original which is why he adopted it as his stage name.
12. Zayn attended Lower Fields Primary School as a youngster before moving on to Tong High School.
13. Zayn has three sisters named Doniya, Waliyha and Safaa.
14. Zayn dated fellow X Factor star Rebecca Ferguson for four months, but the relationship ended when they “drifted apart”. Rebecca is six years older than Zayn.
15. Zayn’s middle name is Javadd.
16. Zayn’s favourite song of all time is ‘Thriller’ by Michael Jackson.
17. Zayn’s father is a British Pakistani named Yaser and his mother Tricia Malik (Brannan) is English.
18. One of Zayn’s most memorable mottos is, “Never live life in the fear of death, no matter how hard life gets, don’t lose hope.”
19. During his time on The X Factor, Zayn’s granddad sadly passed away. In tribute, Zayn has his granddad’s name Walter tattooed on his chest in Arabic.
20. At the start of 2012, Zayn said, “My new year’s resolution is definitely to quit smoking. I need to do it.” Come on Zayn, more willpower!
21. Zayn is a Muslim and once tweeted, ‘La ila ha ill lalla ho muhammed door rasoolalah’, a common declaration of faith that means, There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the prophet of Allah.
22. Zayn means ‘beautiful’ in Arabic.
23. Zayn once said he was totally flabbergasted by the success of One Direction in America.
24. Zayn has a bizarre pre-gig superstition – he always brushes his teeth before getting on stage. He admitted us that his habit “is a little bit weird.”
25. Just like Harry Styles, Zayn is a cat lover. His favourite animal is a lion.
26. Zayn’s Twitter name is @zaynmalik.
27. At school, Zayn starred as one of the ultra-cool, leather clad T-Birds in a production of Grease. Much to Zayn’s horror, footage of the performance is all over the Internet! Doh!
28. Zayn’s first pet was a Staffordshire Bull Terrier called Tyson.
29. In March 2012, Zayn missed some dates on 1D’s North American tour as he had to return to the UK for his aunt’s funeral. Harry tweeted at the time, ‘Zayn has suffered a loss in his family & has had to go home for a few days so won’t be at our next shows in the US.’
30. Zayn once described Olly Murs as “like an older brother.” Bless!
31. A very nervous Zayn almost walked off The X Factor at bootcamp as he couldn’t perfect his dance moves. Fortunately, the legendary Simon Cowell talked him round and Zayn went on to wow the judges.
32. Zayn loves posing topless! However, he says he’s too shy to pose naked.
33. Zayn originally applied to be on the 2009 series of The X Factor, but pulled out before auditions due to nerves.
34. Zayn says that if he wasn’t in One Direction he’d like to be an English teacher.
35. Zayn says he’s the neatest member of One Direction and jokingly described his bandmates as ‘pigs’.
36. Zayn loves drawing when he has spare time.
37. Asked what the best part of a girl’s body is, Zayn said, “I’m very attracted to a girl’s eyes. They don’t have to be a certain colour. I think you can tell a lot by a girl’s eyes.”
38. One of his pet hates is people chewing loudly with their mouths open. We agree, Zayn!
39. Zayn used to love singing R Kelly’s soppy ballad ‘I Believe I Can Fly’ as a kid. His mum Tricia said to the Daily Record, “I have quite a few videos of him singing as a little boy but he’s banned me from showing anyone. My favourite is him singing I Believe I Can Fly wearing a green dressing gown.” This video NEEDS to come out!
40. Zayn’s first kiss was with a girl called Sophie Kirk when he was 10-years-old.
41. Zayn says that if he was stranded on a desert island the one person he’d like to take with him is Louis (Tomlinson, not Walsh!)
42. In early 2012, Zayn was the butt of a hilarious prank played by Harry. When Zayn was asleep, Harry shaved his initials ‘H.S.’ into Zayn’s leg hair. A shocked Zayn commented afterwards, ‘it wasn’t too attractive.’
43. When Harry has his star tattoo done on his arm, ink veteran Zayn held his hand!
44. Zayn lists intelligence as the most important thing he looks for in a girl.
45. Zayn’s official Facebook fan page has over 19 million likes. (As of March 2021).
46. Zayn is a huge Chris Brown fan and lists ‘All Back’ as one of his most-played songs.
47. Zayn’s nickname at school was ‘Z’ (pronounced the UK way ‘zed’ rather than the American “zee”).
48. An ideal date for Zayn would be going out for a meal, watching a movie at the cinema and then returning home to ‘chill’ with some drinks.
49. Zayn reckons that One Direction would be great guest judges on The X Factor. He once told 110% Pop, “I’m sure we’d would be very interesting to watch actually. We haven’t been approached for that yet. If we do get approached I’m sure we’ll try and sort out that we’re all sitting in one chair, yeah.”
Years later his bandmate Louis Tomlinson appeared as a judge on the show that made them famous.
50. In July 2012 Zayn splashed out a whopping £32,000 on a second-hand Bentley Continental GT car. Wow!
51. Zayn admits he was a bit of a handful for his parents when he was younger. He told Glamour, “I was a bit of a handful when I was a kid because I was quite hyperactive. Even in the house, my mum used to put me in my pram because I was so full-on.”
52. Zayn is notorious for busting some crazy dance moves when he’s out!
53. Zayn thinks that Justin Bieber is cute! Asked who’s hotter, 1D or Bieber, Zayn responded, “I think Justin Bieber’s cute looking, but it would be a bit rude and a bit arrogant for me to say ‘me’.”
54. Zayn came third place in SugarScape’s Hottest Lads of 2011 poll. Niall came first while McFly’s Dougie Poynter was in the second spot.
55. Just like Harry, the one artist Zayn would love to collaborate with is Bruno Mars.
56. Zayn says One Direction’s phenomenal global success is “beyond my wildest dreams” and “crazy.”
57. Zayn’s mum Tricia used to cry whenever he leaves home to join the 1D Boys. “When he leaves home I cry at the gate and he says, ‘Mum! I’m not going to war!’ A driver comes for him and I have to stand there and wave back at him crying,” she told the Daily Record.
58. The crown tattoo on Zayn’s chest represents the meaning of his surname, ‘king.’
59. When Zayn was younger he had two cats called Lily and Lolo.
60. Zayn’s favourite album is ‘Graffiti’ by Chris Brown.
61. On One Direction’s debut album ‘Up All Night’, Zayn has approximately five-and-a-half minutes of solos.
62. The one object Zayn would take with him to a desert island is a huge container full of water. Sensible!
63. Zayn Malik’s X Factor audition number was #165616. He has joked that he’d like to get it tattooed on his arm.
64. Zayn was left speechless when a female fan fainted when she met him. He commented to We Love Po, “Obviously you don’t get to see things like that unless you are The Beatles who have that power, and to see it that close was a bit scary. I didn’t really enjoy her fainting in front of me, however, it was cool to know I could make a girl faint!”
65. Zayn’s three favourite subjects at school were English, art and drama.
66. Zayn’s favourite track on ‘Up All Night’ is the Kelly Clarkson penned ‘Tell Me A Lie’.
67. When Zayn was younger he used to collect comic books. He freely admits, “it was quite a geeky thing to do!”
68. Zayn Malik never thought he’d make it to the finals of The X Factor. He claims he entered the show “just for the experience.”
69. Zayn once got a new tattoo saying, ‘be true to who you are.’
70. Asked to sum up 1D’s debut album ‘Up All Night’ in one word, Zayn said it is “anthemic”.
71. Zayn’s shoe size is 8-and-a-half.
72. On his first X Factor audition, Zayn sang Mario’s ‘Let Me Love You’. The popular R’n’B reached number two in the UK in February 2005.
73. Zayn Malik believes that the two things that make the world go round are “peace and love.” Wise words.
74. Zayn’s fans mean a LOT to him. He once said, “Fans aren’t just fans – they’re part of my family.”
75. If Zayn could have dinner with anyone dead or alive it would be Michael Jackson.
76. ‘I Don’t Wanna Live Forever’ won Best Collaboration at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards, and Best Collaboration of the Year at the 2017 MTV Millennial Awards.
77. Zayn sometimes gets fed up of staying in hotels. “We go to all these amazing places and don’t get to see anything, we just see the inside of hotels,” he says.
78. Zayn says the one thing that’s guaranteed to make him smile is talking to his little sister Safaa. Awwww!
79. Despite pictures on the internet, Zayn denies that him and Harry have kissed on stage. Putting it down to good Photoshopping skills, Zayn said, “I’ve seen photos where they’ve morphed us together to make us look like we’re closer than we really are and about to kiss. We were just trying to talk as obviously we can’t hear each other on stage.”
80. According to Harry, Zayn Malik has kissed the most One Direction fans.
81. If Zayn had to wear one colour for the rest of his life it would be black.
82. Zayn says he never lies about his girlfriends or past relationships. He told Top of the Pops Magazine, “I’ve always been honest about that. What’s the point of lying? You’ll just get found out and then you’ll look an idiot.”
83. Zayn’s first solo single after leaving One Direction, ‘Pillowtalk’ was hugely popular around the world. It reached Number 1 here in the UK and in the US, making him the British artist to debut at Number 1 in the US with a debut single.
84. Zayn Malik is a Capricorn.
85. Asked if he ever has nightmares, Zayn said that when he was eight he had a pretty weird one. “I had a dream a giant power ranger was chasing me,” he said. Bizarre!
86. Zayn loves reading. In fact, one of his most famous quotes is, “There comes a day when you realise turning the page is the best feeling in the world because you realise there’s so much more to the book than the page you were stuck on.”
87. Just like his former One Direction bandmates, Zayn can play a musical instrument – the triangle!
88. Zayn splits his fans into three categories. He explains, “There are three types of fans. There are the ones that scream, the ones that want to talk to you and the ones that don’t speak at all.” Which one do YOU fall into?!
89. Now an international jet-setter, incredibly before he joined One Direction Zayn didn’t even have a passport!
90. Zayn has a huge tattoo on his head! In October 2018 he shared a photo of the new mandala style inking.
91. In 2018, Zayn covered one of Elvis Presley’s songs! He uploaded the audio of ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love (Cover)’ to his YouTube channel and fans loved it!
92. Zayn had a baby with model Gigi Hadid. The former couple’s daughter Khai was born in September 2020.
93. Zayn Malik says the craziest thing he’s ever seen a fan do, is to hide in a bin to avoid security.
94. ‘I Don’t Wanna Live Forever’, the collab released by Zayn and Taylor Swift in December 2016 was also written by Taylor and appeared on the Fifty Shades Darker soundtrack.
95. Zayn was nominated for three BRIT Awards, British Single of the Year and British Video of the Year for ‘Pillowtalk’ and British Video of the Year for ‘I Don’t Wanna Live Forever’ with Taylor Swift.
96. Zayn has appeared in three films, two were One Direction films, One Direction: This Is Us and Where We Are – The Concert Film, with the third, a cameo in Ocean’s 8.
97. One Direction celebrated their 10th anniversary on 23rd July 2020. Zayn chose not to post about the anniversary, however that was probably to be expected as back in 2018 he CRUSHED hopes of a One Direction reunion.
98. Zayn is a millionaire, but we think you already knew that!