In the wake of Zayn Malik's sudden departure from the boy band One Direction, the group's four remaining members have spoken up on social media, calling recent events "mad" and "crazy" and "the worst."
They promised Thursday to keep delivering the music and shows that their fans have come to expect — efforts that are also part of a multi-multi-million-dollar enterprise.
Malik announced a week ago that he was taking a break from the "X Factor"-spawned pop juggernaut because of stress. On Wednesday, it was confirmed that he was out for good.
The first to leave the fivesome had blamed stress for his split from the tour last week. That stress may have been in part caused by rumors that he had cheated on his fiancee, Little Mix singer Perrie Edwards.
"I'm 22 years old... I love a girl named Perrie Edwards. And there's a lot of jealous ... in this world I'm sorry for what it looks like x," he said March 18 in what remains his most recent social media message.
On Thursday, bandmate Niall Horan said on Twitter, "Been a mad few days and your support has been incredible as per usual ! This in turn Spurs us on to make the best music we possibly can." He also promised more shows and tours in the style to which One Direction fans have become accustomed.
Louis Tomlinson echoed Horan's sentiments, saying, "Been a crazy couple of days but know that we are going to work harder than ever to deliver the best album we've ever made for you guys! Your support has been incredible , truly incredible so thank you so much !"
Liam Payne, however, had much more to say after what he called "a long and strange 24 hours."
He took to TwitLonger to share his observations after five years of being "part of something so special I don't think any of us really understand," especially in terms of what One Direction means to its fans.
"To a lot of people it's just a bunch of silly kids in a band but to the people involved it means so much more," Payne wrote before emphasizing that 1D was not over yet. "This last week has been some of the worst times, possibly the worst it's something we are all deeply saddened by."
He talked about being "five bros" on stage and having fun together on the tour bus or in hotels over the years and said he was "super sure" the four remaining band members would remain "closest friends" with Malik.
"When we very 1st became successful we all agreed that one direction had become much bigger than each individual member that's why I feel like right now it's ok to be sad and upset but I do ask everyone who is a fan of us to please keep ur faith in us I'm sure there's a lot more to come."
And more should be expected: It was announced Wednesday that One Direction would plow forward as a quartet with a world tour that will see the group back on familiar U.K. turf in early June and, after a European leg, hitting North America in July.
They return to London in September to kick off a slew of dates in Britain through Halloween.
Hmm. Did we forget something? Maybe — someone? Like, say, Taylor Swift's ex-boyfriend?
"All the love as always," he tweeted to fans on Thursday, signing off simply with an "H."