Louis Walsh thinks Zayn Malik "probably did the right thing" by quitting One Direction.
The 'X Factor' judge says he knew "everybody wasn't happy in paradise" before the 22-year-old singer announced the news on Wednesday (25.03.15) and thinks the young star has "made enough money for his life and health and sanity."
The 62-year-old star said: "The problem with these guys is they've been in a bubble for the last five years, pressure, working, a lot harder than people think, so something had to give. So Zayn was the first person to crack up a little bit."
In a statement Zayn admitted he wants to lead a "normal" life, but Louis believes he is preparing to launch a solo career.
He told Irish broadcaster Mary Wilson on RTE Radio 1's Drivetime: "I'm told he's very talented as a songwriter and I know he's been in studio with producers in the last few months. He might surprise us."
The music manager isn't surprised Zayn struggled to cope with negative sides of fame.
He said: "The dark side of it is all the travelling, the airports, in a bubble, not really seeing real life."
Louis also suggested One Direction's popularity might be waning after five years together.
He said: "The thing with One Direction is they were massive worldwide. They were going from continent to continent.
"Going from hotels to hotels, he probably didn't see light of day, he was just working, working, working.
"Now it's everybody's dream but there's an awful lot of pressure with it too.
"Because with boy bands, and with pop bands, they have a shelf life of maybe five to six years with kids. And then the kids grow up and move onto something else."
But he doesn't think the rest of the band - Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne and Harry Styles - will split just yet.
He said: "If the other four work it, I mean they've got a tour and a record coming out next year. I don't think they're going to break up or anything."