Continuing the time-honoured tradition of boyband members becoming disillusioned with their lot and departing to find their 'true sound', Zayn Malik has only gone and reinvented himself as an R&B star using only the name 'ZAYN'.

It's the first solo single by a former member of one of the biggest pop boybands of all time, so understandably, it's attracting a lot of attention.

But how does 'Pillowtalk' fare in comparison to other ex-boyband members' debut solo outings?

Let's take a stroll down memory lane, shall we?


1) Justin Timberlake – 'Like I Love You'

After *Nsync split, Timberlake came out with this absolute banger of a pop song that still sounds great, 14 years on. He passes with flying colours.


2) Robbie Williams – 'Freedom'

After spending time hanging around with the Gallaghers at Glastonbury, dying his hair platinum blonde and generally being a bit of a bad boy, Robbie Williams left Take That and came out with this. His George Michael's 'Freedom' was more about him making a point than any great artistic statement. 


3) Ronan Keating – 'When You Say Nothing at All'

If this song hadn't been on the soundtrack of a globally successful film, would it have made a similar impact? We'll never know. Notting Hill or no Notting Hill, it set Keating up for a long solo career that pretty much buried Boyzone. Temporarily, at least.


4) Jordan Knight – 'Give It To You'

While other members of NKOTB kept their heads down and pursued other artistic careers, Jordan Knight took the bull by the horns and released his debut solo single in 1999, five years after the band had split. It remains his most successful song to date – but it hasn't aged too well, unfortunately.


5) Michael Jackson – 'Got to Be There'

The original and best boyband – aka The Jackson 5 – officially split in 1989, but the solo career of one of the most influential and successful recording artists of all time was born long before that. Michael Jackson's solo debut single was this 1972 tune, but it wasn't until 1979's 'Off the Wall' that he really went stratospheric.


6) Brian McFadden – 'Real to Me'

Another classic example of a 'I'm sick of this manufactured boyband shiz, man! It's about real music, maaan!' reaction. You wonder why these lads bother turning up for auditions in the first place. In any case, McFadden's first post-Westlife song was a hit – but he hasn't had too many of those since.