Zayn Malik Thanks One Direction at First Public Appearance Since Leaving Group (Video)

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The singer calls his former bandmates "four of the best guys that I ever met."

Just weeks after exiting One Direction, Zayn Malik thanked his former bandmates on stage at the Asian Awards in London on Friday.

Sporting a newly shaved head, Malik walked the red carpet with his mother, marking his first major public appearance as a solo artist. The 22-year-old singer was being honored for Outstanding Achievement in Music, TMZ reports.     

"I'd also like to take this moment to thank four of the best guys that I ever met whilst being in the band and doing all the amazing things that I did. Some of the things that we did will stay with me for the rest of my life," Malik said during his acceptance speech. "Here's to the future."

His appearance at the Asian Awards occurred one day after his pal, producer Naughty Boy, shared a photo of him with a new nose piercing on Twitter.

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