Grieving One Direction star Louis Tomlinson performs days after mum's death

Louis Tomlinson said the performance was "harder than I'd ever imagined".
Stuart C Wilson/Getty Images

Louis Tomlinson said the performance was "harder than I'd ever imagined".

One Direction singer Louis Tomlinson made an emotional return to the British X Factor on December 10, performing his new single only three days after his mum passed away from cancer.

Calling the effort "harder than I'd ever imagined", the British star managed to stay strong through the show, even though the song lyrics included the line "it's not over til your dying breath".

His voice cracked with emotion towards the end.

Tomlinson's mother, Johannah Deakin, died after a battle with leukaemia. She was 43.

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Called Just Hold On, the song is a project with DJ Steve Aoki who played keyboards as Tomlinson sang.

The singer earned a huge standing ovation from the audience and the X Factor judges Louis Walsh, Sharon Osbourne, Nicole Scherzinger and Simon Cowell.

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Before the performance, Tomlinson thanked his fans for their support, tweeting: "All the support has been incredible! Let's do this together tonight."

Simon Cowell made his respect for the singer known, addressing Tomlinson directly with a touching tribute.

"Louis, I have to say I've known you for six years. The bravery of what you've done. I respect you as an artist, as a person and your mum was so proud of you and she was so excited for the performance. She's looking down on you tonight."

The same day, Briana Jungwirth, Tomlinson's ex and the mother of his 11-month-old son Freddie, paid tribute to Deakin.

She wrote: "My heart aches. Every time I look at Freddie, I see you in him Jay. I will always remember the times we shared and the talks we had."

 - Cover Media

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