Louis Tomlinson became the latest One Direction member to embark on a solo career as the singer performed his debut single “Just Hold On,” his collaboration with Steve Aoki, on The X Factor UK.
Tomlinson’s debut solo performance came just days after it was announced that his mother, Johannah Deakin, died after a battle with leukemia at the age of 43. Following “Just Hold On,” judge Simon Cowell praised Tomlinson’s ability to perform while mourning his mother.
“What you’ve just done… the bravery… I respect you as an artist and I respect you as a person,” Cowell told Tomlinson. “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.”
Tomlinson said that his mother would have wanted him to performance on The X Factor, Telegraph reports.
“That was harder than I ever imagined,” Tomlinson tweeted Saturday. “I want to thank everyone around me and all of the amazing fans out there that made that so special!”
Following the performance, the studio version of Tomlinson and Aoki’s “Just Hold On” was released to digital music services.