We were all left in tears last night when Louis Tomlinson bravely took to the X Factor stage to perform his debut solo single just three days after he lost his mother, Johannah Deakin, to leukaemia.
Louis had always been scheduled to perform ‘Just Hold On’ during the X Factor final, something that Johannah was looking forward to seeing, and it is understood that her dying wish was for her eldest son to fulfil his commitment to the show and go ahead with his performance.
The 24-year-old star was visibly fighting back tears following his emotional appearance on the show, but once he returned backstage we are pleased to report that he had the support of not only his family and close friends, but also his three One Direction bandmates.
It is understood that Harry Styles, Niall Horan and Liam Payne dropped everything so that they could be at Wembley to support their friend, opting to remain out of the spotlight so not to detract attention away from Louis’ big moment.
A source told the MailOnline: “Harry, Niall and Liam all came down to X Factor to support Louis. They all were backstage with him supporting him. It was a lovely moment – and shows the unity of 1D.
“First time all back together in a year. It was a lovely touching moment backstage and they all came to support Louis during a horrible time.
“Niall even flew back from New York.”
Niall and Liam had previously taken to Twitter to send their love and prayers to Louis after news of Johannah’s tragic death broke, with Zayn Malik – who quit 1D before having a very public Twitter spat with Louis last year – also taking the time to pay tribute to the mother-of-seven.
Following his performance, Louis took to his own social media page and admitted that getting on stage was even “harder” than he thought that it would be, writing to his millions of fans: “That was harder than I ever imagined.
“I want to thank everyone around me and all of the amazing fans out there that made that so special!
“Feeling so much love around me and my family. Mum would have been so f**king proud ( sorry for swearing mum ) love you ! [sic]”
He also thanked his collaborator Steve Aoki, who cancelled two shows so that he could be with Louis last night.
The star added: “Also @steveaoki , you have been such a rock and inspiration throughout this! Pure talent and a real gent ! [sic]”
Steve replied: “U were the rock my brother. U are my inspiration. U have the biggest f**king heart and I’m so proud of u. Blew us all away for her [sic]”.
‘Just Hold On’, which is thought to be about Louis’ mother, has since shot to the top of the iTunes chart.
Speaking to a tearful Louis after his solo debut, Simon Cowell said: “I have to say something to you. I’ve known you for six years, what you’ve just done – the bravery.
“I respect you as an artist and I respect you as a person. Your mum was so proud of you Louis and she was so looking forward to this performance.
“She’s watching over you now and you’ve done her so proud.”
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.
As well as Louis, Johannah was mother to 18-year-old Lottie, 16-year-old Felicite, 12-year-old twins Phoebe and Daisy and two-year-old twins, Doris and Ernest.