Louis Tomlinson put his heart and soul into his performance on U.K.’s The X Factor Saturday night.
Just three days after his mother, Johannah Deakin, died at age 43 from a battle with leukemia, the One Direction star took to the stage as scheduled to perform “Just Hold On,” his first solo single featuring Steve Aoki.
According to a statement given to ET from Tomlinson’s family earlier this week, the performance was a tribute to his mother, whose wish was for him to continue. And that’s exactly what the 24-year-old singer did.
Dressed in a colorful graphic T-shirt, skinny jeans and white sneakers, Tomlinson held back tears as he belted out the catchy tune. “What do you do when a chapter ends? Do you close the book and never read it again?” Tomlinson sang. “Where do you go when your story’s done? You can be who you were or who you’ll become. If it all goes wrong, darling just hold on.”
“Oh until it’s all been said, it’s not over until your dying breath,” he continued. “So what do you want them to say when you’re gone? That you gave up or that you kept going on?”
As the song came to an end, Tomlinson kissed his fingers and pointed to the sky, giving a nod to his beloved mama. “This moment broke my heart,” a fan on Twitter shared. “You’re amazing @Louis_Tomlinson.”
“That was harder than I ever imagined,” Tomlinson later wrote in a series of tweets. “I want to thank everyone around me and all of the amazing fans out there that made that so special! Feeling so much love around me and my family. Mum would have been so f**king proud ( sorry for swearing mum