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Zayn Malik Interrupted Jimmy Fallon's Monologue to Reveal a Major Career Update

The former One Direction member stunned the audience by striding up to Fallon's desk to announce his new album, and a new single. 

By Samantha Vincenty

It's been a huge week for major announcements on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: On Tuesday, Kelly Clarkson, Peyton Manning, and Mike Tirico revealed that they're hosting the 2024 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony in Paris. Then, they surprised Jimmy Fallon with an invitation to come to the Closing Ceremony—with Fallon learning onscreen that he'll be a host. And the unexpected moments kept on coming on March 13, when singer Zayn Malik surprised The Tonight Show audience by walking onstage to deliver a special message. 

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Like most any other night, Fallon was seated behind The Tonight Show desk, getting ready to welcome guests Angela Bassett and Noel Fielding. "What a great show we have for you tonight," Fallon began. But his words were soon drowned out by screams as someone casually walked into Studio 8B, striding up to Fallon's desk.

It was singer Zayn Malik, dressed in all black and a slick leather duster, Malik casually greeted the (again, very excited) audience as if he pops by all the time. Then Malik spilled the details on his first album in three years. 

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Zayn Malik on the tonight show starring jimmy fallon episode 1939

Zayn Malik surprises The Tonight Show audience to tease his new song, "What I Am" 

Handing Fallon a note, Malik put his hand on Fallon's shoulder as they looked at an open laptop together. The soft strains of Malik's new single, "What I Am," played in the background. 

"What's Zayn doing here?" Fallon wondered aloud, as the pop singer was already walking away as if he were a brief mirage.

Except Fallon held the evidence of their encounter in his hand.

"Jimmy, look to your right for my album," Fallon said, reading Malik's note. "'My new single, 'What I Am,' is out this Friday off my upcoming album Room Under the Stairs, available May 17th. Hope you’ll check it out.'"

"I will!" Fallon said. Here's hoping Malik will return to linger a bit longer as musical guest in the near future. 

Zayn Malik's new album, Room Under the Stairs, is out May 17

Room Under the Stairs is Malik's fourth studio album; he made his solo debut with 2016's Mind of Mine. 

Malik got his start as a member of the massively-popular British boy band One Direction, which also counted Harry Styles and The Voice Coach Niall Horan among its members.