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Zayn Malik is thanking fans after the death of his grandmother. On Wednesday, the former One Direction singer tweeted to his 17 million followers, “Thank you for your support and love .. My grandma was a beautiful person and will be missed dearly x.”

News of Malik’s grandmother’s death seemed to first leak when an Instagram account that purportedly belongs to his younger sister Waliyha posted a photo (below) of the deceased, along with the message, “R.I.P to my grandma I love you more than anything in the world my angel it was so hard to see you struggle the way you have been but I know your in a better place now with my granddad he’ll be so happy to see you after so many years.”

Waliyha’s message caused the hashtag #ZaynStayStrong to trend on Twitter. Gossip Cop has learned that it was the singer’s maternal grandmother who passed away. Now fans are using the hashtag #RIPGrandmaBrannan in memory of Malik’s mother Tricia Brannan’s mom dying.

Gossip Cop is sorry to learn Malik’s new year is getting off to such a sad start. The singer is expected to be releasing solo music this year, and we hope that brings joy both to him and his continuing supporters. Gossip Cop’s thoughts are with Malik and his loved ones at this time.

Photo: Getty Images