Zayn Malik, who quit One Direction last week, and his new producer wasted no time releasing the singer's first solo work, which was then deleted from the Web Tuesday after fewer than 12 hours.
The release and subsequent removal of "I Won't Mind" came after contentious tweets and countertweets between its English producer, Naughty Boy, and One Direction member Louis Tomlinson.
The contretemps began after Naughty Boy, 30, born Shahid Khan, retweeted a video clip on Monday in which an unknown voice sings "Naughty Boy saved my life. Zaughty will rise," set to the tune of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star."
Tomlinson, 23, reacted by tweeting, "Wow, Naughty Boy, you're so inconsiderate pal ... Grow up!" He quickly added, "Always have struggled to bite my tongue. Anywayyyyyyyyyyyyyy."
Shorty afterward, Naughty Boy posted the 22-year-old Malik's song on SoundCloud, tweeting, "Let the music do the talking guys. thank us later. :)" After the two-minute-fifty-one-second song -- which the producer described as a demo track -- was taken down, Billboard posted what it called a YouTube rip of the lilting acoustic ballad, which the trade magazine said had been recorded over the weekend.
Within an hour of posting the song, Naughty Boy tweeted an image reading, "Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything that no longer serves you, grows you, or makes you happy," a seeming reference to Malik's breakaway from the chart-topping One Direction, whose four studio albums, released from 2011 to 2014, each reached No. 1 in the United States and many other countries.
on Tuesday, Naughty Boy added on Twitter, "No one is against anyone here. The fans made all of us. not just a chosen few. The love is alive. Hate just doesn't belong there.