Louis Tomlinson put on a brave face tonight as he debuted his single on The X Factor finale. The song, “Just Hold On,” was his tribute for his mother, Johannah Deakin, who passed away this week after being stricken with leukemia.
The “No Control” singer himself said that performing for the finale was harder than he imagined. Nonetheless, he still showed up for the long scheduled performance as it was reportedly his mother’s wish to see him return to The X Factor stage.
“All the support has been incredible! Let’s do this together tonight,” his tweet a few hours before the performance read.
His One Direction bandmates Niall Horan, Liam Payne, and Harry Styles all headed to London to support their brother, although they stayed backstage in an apparent bid to not distract the audience from such a heartfelt performance. Louis appeared onstage with Steve Aoki and was met with a standing ovation afterwards.
A source told Mail Online that it was the first time that all boys reunited after a year of being apart. Niall reportedly came from the U.S.
“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.”
Simon Cowell, who guided the boys during their stint on the reality show, praised the 24-year-old for pushing through with the performance.
“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.”
It is apparent that Louis is trying to fight back his tears during the performance. There were several instances when he looked up to the sky. Directioners have been showing their support on social media using the hashtag #ProudOfLouis.
Johannah, known to her loved ones as “Jay,” was reportedly diagnosed with the cruel disease earlier this year. Her husband Dan said that the mother of seven had been in the hospital since May.
Jay is known by Directioners across the globe for her warmth and humility. She would take time to interact with fans, comment on the wonderful things said about her son, and at times, defend Louis from vile remarks. Amidst all this, Directioners admired Jay for her unwavering concern to Louis and his fans. When One Direction celebrated its recent anniversary, she even shared a story of how she took the boys’ first unofficial photo.
The 43-year-old worked as a midwife but spent the past few years of her life supporting Louis’ philanthropic works. She dedicated her time campaigning for charities and organizing fundraisers for the benefit of children with terminal illnesses. Dan previously said in a statement that his wife frequently searched for opportunities to help.
“It wasn’t uncommon for Johannah to hear through the media of an individual in need of assistance, and she would immediately make it her objective to get that person what they often desperately needed, and rarely without success. These are the things that made Johannah happy and content in life, and all of which for me made her simply the perfect wife and best friend to face each day with.”
Apart from Louis, Jay leaves behind Lottie, 18, Felicite, 16, twins Daisy and Phoebe, 12, and her twins with Dan, Ernest and Doris, 2. She also got the chance to be a grandmother to Louis’ eldest, 10-month-old Freddie Reign.
[Featured Image by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for iHeartMedia]