Band breakups that were more devastating than One Direction's.

We’ve all been here before, people.

In case you somehow missed the NEWS THAT BROKE THE INTERNET today, Zayn Malik has left One Direction. He has abandoned his four fellow band-mates. Stranded them. Left them to fend for themselves. Worse? He’s broken millions of young and impressionable female hearts worldwide.

But we’ve seen it all before, right? One member of the band wants out, storms out, and the others bravely soldier on. But the magic is gone, and they eventually call it a day amid finger-pointing, rehab stints and endless attempted reunions for comeback tours.

Read more: Zayn Malik’s announcement about boy band One Direction explodes the internet. Boom.

Here are 7 other band break-ups that almost broke us. And the stories behind which band member tore the groups apart…

1. The Beatles.

In possibly the first hair-tearing teen split, John Lennon told the Beatles that he wanted out of the Biggest Band in the Entire Universe Ever in September, 1969. This traitorous move was widely blamed on his intense, marriage-ending relationship with performance artist Yoko Ono, forever spawning the phrase, ‘She’s doing a Yoko’ when a high-profile girlfriend is perceived to come between musos. But it was really all over when Paul McCartney started to work on a solo album, secretly, the same year.

The promotional material for the album contained a fact sheet that spelt out the end for The Beatles as a group, with a slight jab at band-mate John Lennon thrown in too. It read:

Q: “Is your break with the Beatles temporary or permanent, due to personal differences or musical ones?”

A: “Personal differences, business differences, musical differences, but most of all because I have a better time with my family. Temporary or permanent? I don’t really know.”

Q: “Do you foresee a time when Lennon-McCartney becomes an active songwriting partnership again?”

A: “No.”

It was truly the end of an era, and a gazillion screaming girls were silenced.

2. Spice Girls.

It was a sad morning in 1998 when Geri Halliwell, aka Ginger Spice, announced she was done with the Spice Girls.

“Sadly I would like to confirm that I have left the Spice Girls,” Halliwell said in a statement at the time, leaving teens everywhere in total denial. “This is because of differences between us. I am sure the group will continue to be successful and I wish them all the best. I have no immediate plans. I wish to apologise to all the fans and to thank them for everyone who has been there.”

Mel B says, “When Geri left the group it was bad. She left on my birthday. She just didn’t show up one day.”

It was the beginning of the end. Who else could throw in Zig-A-Zig-Ah into a song and make it an instant worldwide classic?

The Spice Girls teetered on for X months before announcing the dream was over in 2000.

We’re still not over it. *Sobs*


3. Take That.

Teenagers were so distraught in 1995 when Robbie Williams famously quit Take That that suicide hotlines were set up to help fans deal with the news.

When Williams was recently asked about whether he left Take That or was asked to leave at the height of their reign he told BBC Radio 4’s Mastertapes: “It was a bit of both. At the time I was drinking really heavily – and very young.

“I said to the boys, ‘This will be my last tour.’ I went back to the hotel and got drunk again, got up the next day, went into rehearsals and I wasn’t in a very good way.”

“During the afternoon, Jason Orange said, ‘Bob, we need to sit you down and have a chat.’

“‘So you’re going to leave after this tour and what we’ve decided is, we think it’s best you go now, so we can prove we can do this as a four-piece. What do you think?’

“That was the opening of the door. That’s all I needed.”

The band tried to go on without Robbie but split up officially a year later. Robbie ended up having a successful solo career without them, but it was never quite the same…

4. ABBA.

ABBA was made up of married couples Agnetha Fältskog and Bjorn Ulvaeus and Ani-Frid Lyngstad and Benny Andersson. When ABBA was at the peak of popularity the group started to fall apart. Agnetha and Bjorn’s marriage ended in 1979 and Ani-Frid and Benny split in 1981.

Their last public performance as a group was on the British TV show The Late, Late Breakfast  Show which was aired live from Stockholm on December 11, 1982. That same year the band officially broke up.

Bjorn later told The Sunday Telegraph the group would never consider coming together again. “We will never appear on stage again,” he said. “There is simply no motivation to re-group. Money is not a factor and we would like people to remember us as we were. Young, exuberant, full of energy and ambition.”

5. Destiny’s Child.

During their ‘Destiny Fulfilled…And Lovin’ It Tour’ in 2005,’ Destiny’s Child shattered fans with the news they were going to disband.

But let’s be honest, things weren’t looking so good when  Beyoncé Knowles’  recorded her solo LP, Dangerously in Love, two years earlier. Things began to unravel soon after it became a multi-platinum success.

“We have been working together as Destiny’s Child since we were 9, and touring together since we were 14,” the statement announcing their split read. “After a lot of discussion and some deep soul searching, we realized that our current tour has given us the opportunity to leave Destiny’s Child on a high note, united in our friendship and filled with an overwhelming gratitude for our music, our fans, and each other. After all these wonderful years working together, we realised that now is the time to pursue our personal goals and solo efforts in earnest”.


The only upside to this split was Queen Bey’s subsequent world domination.

6. Backstreet Boys.

After 13 years of what we thought would be Backstreet Boys #4ever bliss, it was a shock when in 2006 Kevin Richardson, then aged 33, said he wanted to leave to pursue “other interests”.

A statement announcing Richardson’s departure from the group was posted on the bands website. It read, “After 13 years of what can only be described as a dream come true, I have decided that it is time to leave the Backstreet Boys.

“It was a very tough decision for me but one that was necessary in order to move on with the next chapter of my life.”

The rest of the group said they had no plans to replace Richardson. “Earlier this year, after much soul searching, Kevin Richardson came to us and told us that he had decided to leave the group and pursue other interests. He gave his blessing to continue the music without him,” read a statement from the group at the time.

In 2012 the group announced that Richardson had rejoined them permanently, and that they were thrilled to have him back.

Let’s be honest though. It was never quite the same. Was it?

7. ‘N Sync.

‘N Sync dominated the pop charts in the late 1990s and early 2000s and sold more than 50 million albums. But things broke down once lead singer Justin Timberlake began to pursue a solo career. After that the band announced a “temporary hiatus” in 2002, and stopped recording new music. The group’s official website was shut down in 2006, and by 2007, Lance Bass confirmed that the group has “definitely broken up.

Bass’ memoir ‘Out of Sync’ seemed to blame Justin Timerlake’s solo career for the group’s split. “I felt completely betrayed,” he wrote.

“I mean, at one point we were the biggest band in the world,” he said. “We could’ve definitely kept that going.”

Wow. That was painful. Let it allll out, guys. We’ll get through this tough time together.

Would you add any painful musical splits to this list?