Zayn Malik
Zayn Malik is 'turning into Chris Brown but without any hits', said a friend Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Since leaving One Direction in March, Zayn Malik has found himself at the centre of a number of high-profile rows, and now friends have voiced their concern that he is on downward spiral.

Within the last six months alone, the 22-year-old Bradford-born singer has dumped his long-term fiancée Perrie Edwards, fallen out with former bandmates, entered into a war of words with his closest pal and producer Naughty Boy, and switched labels in quick succession. He is now living alone in LA.

Speaking to The Sun newspaper, a former ally called him a "power-hungry little boy". "He's a little boy who needs to grow up. It's really bad for him. He's turning into Chris Brown but without any hits," the pal said. "He is self-destructing right now and I hope he's got someone there for him. I doubt he has, though, so that's why I'm worried for him."

Another insider added: "He's p***ing off so many people, it's very hard to see him having much support left by the time he's finally ready to release any music. He has gone power-crazy. You can blame other people like his new management but really it's him."

Although Malik initially claimed that he quit One Direction to be a "normal 22-year-old", it soon became obvious that that wasn't entirely true. Not only did he swiftly rebrand himself as a solo artist within weeks, he later signed to rival record company RCA to make "real music" – a not-so- subtle dig at his bandmates Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson.

Earlier in August, the X Factor alumnus proved that there was no love lost between him and Edwards when he took a swipe at Little Mix ahead of their performance at the 2015 Teen Choice Awards. He retweeted a message from another account which asked followers to "retweet" if they think Little Mix rivals Fifth Harmony have "the better single", or "favourite" for Perrie's band's single. On 17 August, he also shared a cryptic tweet that read: "Nothing changed you just never knew."

Malik's most recent cringeworthy clash concluded in him telling DJ Calvin Harris to "calm his knickers before them dentures fall out".

Despite the fact that he is quickly becoming one of the most outrageous pop stars of the decade, fans refuse to give up on him. "Zayn Malik will definitely be the Most Successful star of his generation because his vocal prowess is amazing and he was just misinterpreted. He has a lot to offer! Watch out for him!" one supporter said.

Another wrote: "I think he's just getting rid of all the fakes in his life."