Louis Tomlinson kept his promise to his mother Johanna Deakin, who passed away three days ago, and returned to the stage. Prior to his performance and immediately after a huge introduction, there was a brief pause. Tomlinson was not quite ready. Fortunately, Simon Cowell, Louis Walsh, Sharon Osbourne and Nicole Scherzinger improvised until Tomlinson was ready to make his entrance. Though grief-stricken and backed by DJ Steve Aoki, Tomlinson came out and wowed the crowd with his song “Just Hold On.” The 24-year-old singer belted out lyrics with poignant lines like: “It’s not over until your dying breath.

So, what do you want them to say when you’re gone?”

Once he finished and the music was over, Tomlinson held back tears as he pointed up towards the heavens as the Wembley Arena audience stood, cheering and clapping. Afterward, an emotional Cowell praised the singer for his bravery and told Tomlinson that he knows his mother is watching over him and is very proud.

A strong showing of support

A countless number of fans took to Twitter, making the hashtag #ProudofLouis a worldwide trending topic. There were also reported sightings of One Direction band mates Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and former member Zayn Malik cheering Tomlinson on.

Olympic gold medalist Sam Quek shared a backstage photo of herself standing next to Styles. Later in the evening, DJ Aoki tweeted that he was honored to share the stage with Tomlinson.

A friend in need is a friend indeed

Louis Tomlinson’s mother Johannah “Jay” Deakin died Wednesday from leukemia. She leaves behind her husband Dan and seven children: Louis, 24, Lottie, 18, Felicite, 16, twins Daisy and Phoebe, 12, and 2-year-old twins Ernest and Doris.

She also leaves behind one grandchild, Louis’ 11-month old son, Freddie. After news of her death broke, One Direction members took to social media to lend their support. Former member Zayn Malik tweeted to Tomlinson: “Love you bro! All of your family is in my prayers. Proud of your strength and know your mum is too.”

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