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Simon Cowell praises 'brave' Louis Tomlinson for performing on X Factor just days after mum's death

Louis looked a bit tearful after his performance but held it together. Credit: X Factor/ITV

Simon Cowell has praised Louis Tomlinson for his bravery - after performing on the X Factor just days after losing his mother to leukaemia.

Johannah Deakin passed away on Wednesday aged 42 leaving behind seven children including Louis.

But rather than pull out of Saturday night's performance of his new single Just Hold On he went ahead - as per his mother's wishes.

Louis gets a hug from Steve Aoki who performs on the track with him. Credit: X Factor/ITV

The One Direction star looked emotional as the audience applauded but he managed to hold it together.

Cowell then said: "Louis. I have to say something to you.

"I've known you now for for six years. What you've just done and the bravery.

"I respect you as an artist, I respect you as a person.

"Your mum was so proud of you Louis. She was so looking forward to tonight. She's watching down on you now and you've done her proud."

Louis with his late mother Johannah. Credit: PA

X Factor presenter Dermot O'Leary added: "All our love and prayers from the X Factor family."

Just hours before his performance, Louis broke his silence on his mother's death.

He tweeted: "All the support has been incredible! Let's do this together tonight."

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He later tweeted that the performance was "harder than I ever imagined" and thanked his fans, adding: "Feeling so much love around me and my family. Mum would have been so f***ing proud (sorry for swearing mum) love you!"

He also said musician and producer Steve Aoki, who collaborated with him on the track, was a "rock and inspiration".