Louis Tomlinson pays tribute to his late mother in X Factor performance

Louis Tomlinson has said singing on The X Factor days after the death of his mother was "harder than I ever imagined".

The One Direction star said she would have been proud to see him perform his new single, Just Hold On, on Saturday night's show.

Johannah Deakin died on Wednesday at the age of 43 after a battle with leukaemia.

Louis, 24, thanked his fans for their support on Twitter.

He added: "Feeling so much love around me and my family. Mum would have been so proud. love you!"

Louis also said thanks to Steve Aoki, the US DJ he collaborated with for his latest record.

After receiving a standing ovation from the judges, Louis fought back tears as Simon Cowell, who manages One Direction, congratulated him for his performance.

He said: "I've known you now for six years. What you've just done, the bravery you've shown, I respect you as an artist, I respect you as a person.

Dan Deakin, Johannah Deakin and Louis Tomlinson
Image caption Louis Tomlinson pictured with his step-dad Dan Deakin and late mother, Johannah

"Your mum was so proud of you, she was so looking forward to tonight and she's looking down on you now. Steve, you're a great friend to him."

Louis blew a kiss up to the ceiling as he listened to Simon Cowell's tribute.

Meanwhile #LouisIs trended for most of Sunday after his touching performance on Saturday night.

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