Zayn Malik‘s separation from One Direction and the launch of his solo career is now complete, and he did it in style. The 23-year-old “PillowTalk” singer’s solo debut album, Mind of Mine, will debut at #1 on the Billboard 200 with roughly 157,000 units sold when the numbers are officially released this week, as expected.
After leaving mega-popular and beloved pop group One Direction in March of 2015, Malik signed a solo deal with RCA Records a few months later, joining a roster chock full of successful R&B acts, including Miguel, Chris Brown, Usher Bryson Tiller and Justin Timberlake, the latter of whom knows a little something about breaking away from a boy band and experiencing immediate solo success. Malik’s first-ever solo single, “PillowTalk,” literally shot up to the top of the charts, becoming just the 25th song to debut in the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100. His follow-ups, “It’s You” and “Like I Would” both experienced considerable chart success, and he would also appear on the popular remix to Chris Brown’s “Back To Sleep” alongside Usher.
Malik also made a bit of history while he was at it, becoming the first UK male solo artist to debut at #1 on the US Hot 100 with a solo debut since George Michael did it in 1968. What’s more? Malik is the first male UK act, solo or group, to debut at #1 on the Hot 100 since…you guessed it…One Direction did it in 2012 with Up All Night, which went on to sell over 5 million copies.