“Just Hold On,” Louis’ collaboration with Steve Aoki, was released on Friday, with a scheduled live premiere of the song on X Factor. According to the Daily Mail, Johannah had been looking forward to seeing her son perform his first solo single on the X Factor stage, where he gained his claim to fame as part of 1D.
For those out of the One Direction loop, the British boy band went on hiatus earlier this year after the release of their fifth studio album, Made in the AM. Since their hiatus began, Niall Horan has released a song, Liam Payne has teased new music, and of course, former member Zayn Malik went on to release Mind of Mine. While many fans have been waiting for solo Louis Tomlinson to rise, no one expected that it’d be so shortly after the unexpected passing of his beloved mother, Johannah Deakin.
The resulting performance is emotional. Seriously, you will cry:
Many speculate that the song was written about Johannah, who passed away after fighting leukemia. “So what do you want them to say when you’re gone? That you gave up or that you kept going on?” Louis sings on the track. Either way, the energy in Louis’ performance as well as his bravery in doing the performance so soon after his mother’s death made for an incredible tribute to a much loved woman.
After the performance, Simon Cowell commended him, telling him that his mother would be proud. “She’s looking down on you tonight,” he said.
Many stars and fans have sent on their well-wishes to Louis’ family, but the boys of One Direction (of past and present) sending their love to him is what has warmed our hearts the most.
It feels like old times seeing the boys support each other like this! (Maybe there really is hope for a reunion…)
Louis later thanked all well wishers on Twitter, writing that the performance was “harder than I ever imagined.” He went on to thank the fans, his family, and add that his mom would be proud of him.
Our thoughts are with you, Louis!