Zayn Malik’s Glow-Up Since the Early One Direction Days Is Really Something — See His Transformation!

This one really grew up, y’all. Former One Direction star Zayn Malik‘s transformation taught us that some men really do just get better and better with age.

Born in Bradford, West Yorkshire, England in 1993, the now 27-year-old came through the X Factor circuit like his future bandmates: eager to succeed and ready to show off his pipes. Though he didn’t make it past the boys’ trials, he was unexpectedly made part of a five-piece group consisting of Louis Tomlinson, Harry Styles, Niall Horan and Liam Payne. The lads went on to compete in the competition after being given the monumental second chance — and they went on to snag the coveted third place honor during the finals of the reality competition.

Subsequently, the pop group became superstars in the U.K. and then the world — and we’re pretty glad they did, or else Zayn’s incredible transformation would have never been able to be appreciated by the likes of us mere mortals.

Unfortunately for 1D OT5 stans, Zayn left One Direction in March 2015 after over four years with the group that made him a household name. Citing stress as the reason for his departure, the singer laid low for the rest of the year and stayed out of the public eye.

His first solo single, “PILLOWTALK,” was released in January 2016, less than a year after his split from the band. He went on to release two solo albums, Mind of Mine and 2018’s Icarus Falls. His first release was a smash hit — and his second was considered a potential masterpiece.

After going solo, he experimented a lot with style, which could have been influenced by girlfriend and supermodel Gigi Hadid. The couple started dating in 2016 and had their fair share of ups and downs over the years. After splitting in January 2019, they reconciled the following January — and in April 2020, Life & Style confirmed the pair were expecting their first child.

The proud dad announced his daughter’s birth in September 2020. “Our baby girl is here, healthy [and] beautiful,” Zayn wrote on Twitter and Instagram. “To try put into words how I am feeling right now would be an impossible task. The love I feel for this tiny human is beyond my understanding. Grateful to know her, proud to call her mine [and] thankful for the life we will have together.”

The singer is known for staying out of the public eye and keeping his privacy under wraps. “What Zayn released on social media was more than anyone expected, but he couldn’t help it,” an insider told Life & Style in the days following the baby’s birth. “He’s got his two girls and that’s all he needs. He’s overwhelmed with emotion.” The source added, “Gigi and Zayn were so excited for this baby, and now that she’s finally here, it’s been amazing.”

Scroll through the gallery to see Zayn Malik’s transformation over the years!