Is this the beginning of the end for One Direction?
Hiatus. It's defined as a pause or break, but to fan girls, it signals the beginning of the end for their beloved boy bands.
Directioners were the latest fandom to have the much-dreaded H word dropped on them after it was announced that One Direction would be going on an extended hiatus — for at least 12 months — starting next March.
People reported that the break would allow the four remaining members of the British group — Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson and Liam Payne — to pursue their own projects.
This is the second setback to hit Directioners in the space of just five months. Earlier this year, fan favourite Zayn Malik made a sudden exit from the then quintet, leaving the entire One Direction fandom in tears.
Fans are now fearing the worst, all thanks to the rising trend of groups announcing that they'll be going on hiatus, only to disband shortly after.
*NSYNC's Lance Bass revealed in his autobiography that Justin Timberlake's desire to go solo resulted in the popular 1990s boy band's hiatus, followed by permanent split in 2002.
More recently, the Jonas Brothers, a family band made up of brothers and Disney sensations Kevin, Joe and Nick Jonas, went on a hiatus in 2013 and put their highly-anticipated fifth album on hold. The record was eventually cancelled after the brothers decided to call it quits.
On a more positive note, the group's upcoming fifth studio album is still on track for a late 2015 release and they'll continue promoting it before going on hiatus.
According to the Mirror, there is no rift between the boys and Zayn's departure can be ruled out as the reason for the temporary split.
So don't fret Directioners, there might be hope yet that One Direction will return stronger.
Sources: People, Mirror