zayn malik gets real about his anxiety after canceling show

The singer canceled his first UK performance at Capital FM's Summertime Ball over the weekend, citing an ongoing mental health struggle.

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Jun 13 2016, 8:12pm

@zayn

On Saturday June 11, Zayn Malik unexpectedly canceled his performance at London's Capital FM Summertime Ball at Wembley Stadium. The show would have been Malik's first solo performance in his home country, but the singer believed that crippling anxiety that accompanied it would have been too much. He Instagrammed and tweeted, "Unfortunately, my anxiety that has haunted me throughout the last few months around live performances has gotten the better of me… with the magnitude of the event, I have suffered the worst anxiety of my career." So he pulled out of the show, and while some fans immediately left the venue in disappointment, many showed support for him on Twitter.

One of those fans was friend (and maybe girlfriend) Gigi Hadid, who responded yesterday with a heartfelt message. In it, Hadid recounts witnessing Malik's battles and admiring his bravery. "Your honesty last night proved what you're all about, being real," she writes. "Human recognizes human." Hadid continues, "Those who can find compassion now are the ones that deserve to watch you continue to grow."

She makes a great point: artists and entertainers do suffer from anxiety, they do get tired and nervous, and everyone needs to call in sick sometimes. Playing a sold-out stadium in one of the largest cities in the world, at age 23 and solo, is quite simply terrifying. Even the most experienced artists can understand this. What's clear is that Malik knows his limits, as he has shown the same honesty before when he quit One Direction, pulling out of a world tour last year. He has promised to make up for the cancelation in the future.

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Text Blair Cannon