Louis Tomlinson performs "Just Hold On" on the X Factor days after his mum died

Simon Cowell told Louis “she's looking down on you tonight”.

By Erin Van Der Meer
Louis Tomlinson performed "Just Hold On" on the X Factor days after his mum died

After Louis Tomlinson sadly lost his mother Johannah Deakin to leukemia on Wednesday, many expected he would cancel a scheduled performance on the UK’s X Factor on Saturday night local time.

But in an incredible show of strength, and to fulfil his mum’s wishes, Louis showed up and performed his hit “Just Hold On” – which takes on a new meaning following Johannah's death, and may even have been written about his mum.

Louis kept it together during the performance and even managed to crack a smile, but he became emotional when Simon Cowell spoke to him afterwards.

“Louis, I have to say I've known you for six years,” he said. “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.”

Hours before the performance, Louis thanked fans for their support after the news broke Saturday that Johannah had passed away at just 42 years old.

Watch Louis’ performance and Simon’s comments below. Keep a tissue handy.