He chose not to walk the red carpet for his return

By Jodi Guglielmi
Updated July 08, 2015 03:55 PM
Credit: FameFlynet

Simon Cowell has been mourning in privacy since the death of his mother, Julie Cowell, earlier this week at the age of 89.

A family spokesperson confirmed the news in a statement from the Cowell family: “Today our beloved mum Julie passed away,” they said. “Anyone who had met her would know what a truly special and kind lady she was. We are heartbroken and will miss her terribly, but she is now at peace.”

Cowell, 55, postponed Monday’s The X Factor U.K. auditions, but the music mogul kept his head high and proved his professionalism as he got back to work this week.

While he did take his place at the judges’ table, he opted out of walking the red carpet, instead speaking once inside.

“You all know I had something happen in my personal life this week,” The Sun reports he told the crowd, receiving a standing ovation. “Well, this was my mum s favorite show so I am doing it in memory of her.”

On Tuesday, Cowell took to Twitter to thank his fans for their support and pay tribute to his mother.

“I am overwhelmed with gratitude for all of the kind messages received. Thank you. X”

This season of the The X Factor will feature two new judges, Rita Ora and Nick Grimshaw.