The 21 year-old singer's unexpected absence forced the rest of the band to clarify that he is simply ill and not suffering with substance abuse issues.
One Direction kicked off their promotional tour for their newest album 'Four,' released today, by appearing on the 'Today' show in Orlando this morning (Nov 17th), but the 15,000 strong crowd gathered to see the band's performance noticed that they were one man short.
Zayn [second from the left] missed One Direction's 'Today' show performance this morning
Zayn Malik was nowhere to be seen during the band's morning show appearance, and since this isn't the first time he has been a no show, rumours quickly began circling that the 21-year-old singer is struggling with substance abuse issues.
However, the four other band mates quickly dismissed these false claims and informed their concerned fans that Zayn was simply under the weather.
"Yea, he's got a tummy bug, so he's not very well at the moment, so he couldn't make it," Liam Payne told Matt Lauer after the 'Today' host asked about Zayn's absence. "We only found out this morning, so we were very sad and he is as well that he can't be here for our album release day. But it's still going to be a really great day, I'm sure."
Lauer didn't seem to believe this explanation, and then directly asked the 1D boys, "Is it something more serious than just a minor illness?" while hinting about the substance abuse rumours.
"No, he's just got a stomach bug, he's OK," Payne once again replied, adding, "He's just at home, he needs to rest, he's OK."
"When's he going to rejoin the band?" Lauer asked. "We're not sure yet, we're just waiting for a phone call from him," Payne said.
Even without Zayn, the band still performed several of their new hits including their recent single 'Steal My Girl'.