Zayn Malik to read CBeebies bedtime story

Zayn Malik on the sofa talking to Kelly Clarkson on her chat show in the US
Malik has previously been reticent about publicity but has recently been promoting his new album [Getty Images]

Singer Zayn Malik is the latest star to record a CBeebies bedtime story, choosing Ziggy Marley's book Music is Everything.

The former One Direction singer, who recently released his country-inspired fourth solo album Room Under the Stairs, says he chose the book because he "loves Bob Marley and because music and reading are both important to me as a parent."

Malik shares daughter Khai with ex-partner, model Gigi Hadid, adding that he reads and sings to her at bedtime.

"I feel like this will be something really cool to show her (Khai)," he said.

Other music stars to have read a CBeebies bedtime story include Malik's former bandmate Harry Styles, Dave Grohl, Dolly Parton, Reese Witherspoon, Sir Elton John, Ed Sheeran and Gregory Porter.

Urdu lyrics

Malik has largely stayed away from the limelight since leaving One Direction, last year giving his first interview in six years.

The star left the hugely successful boyband in the middle of a world tour in 2015 and the band went on hiatus the following year.

He later opened up about previous struggles with anxiety and an eating disorder.

But Malik has returned to the spotlight in recent months.

On Friday he performed his first headline solo gig, and his first concert since he left One Direction, describing it as "an unforgettable night" on Instagram.

He also recently delighted fans by singing in Urdu in a collaboration with popular Pakistani band Aur.

The Bradford-born star currently resides in rural Pennsylvania, where Hadid's family own a farm, so the pair can co-parent their daughter.

'Personal pain'

His latest album, which came out last week and was fittingly recorded in Nashville, has had encouraging reviews.

The Guardian's Michael Cragg, giving it three stars, noted that: "While there are some lyrical clunkers, and the mood can feel one-note, it’s a record that further cements Malik as an intriguing outlier."

Poppie Platt and Ollie Mcnaughton, writing in the Telegraph, also gave it three stars: "Only time will tell if Room Under the Stairs finds and audience outside of the avid, still-loyal Directioner fan base, but it definitely deserves to."

The Rolling Stone UK's Nick Reilly gave the album four stars, noting: "By mining his personal pain - and heading in a country direction - Malik proves he’s still capable of greatness."

Writing in Variety, Thania Garcia concluded that "although it might take the average Zayn fan more than few listens to connect with the LP as a whole, the boldness of the material’s experimentation is worth putting in the effort".

CBeebies Bedtime Story is on each week day at 18:50 on CBeebies and BBC iPlayer.

Zayn Malik’s story is broadcast on Wednesday 22 May.