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First Day Of ‘X Factor’ Auditions Canceled After Simon Cowell’s Mother Dies

Steve Thorne, Getty Images

Update, July 7:
X-Factor auditions will resume as scheduled—with Cowell—according to a statement released by Syco Entertainment. “We will now start auditions in Manchester on Wednesday and Thursday this week,” a spokesman said, according to the BBC.

Original post:
The search for Britain’s next music superstar will have to wait: X-Factor auditions have been put on hold after judge Simon Cowell’s mother, Julie, died on Sunday (July 5).

According to The Sun, Julie, who’d been secretly battling health issues, died from a stroke after spending some time in a London hospital — and the site says the typically resolute Simon is struggling.

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

Auditions for the show, which is heading into its twelfth season, were originally slated to kick off this week in Manchester and proceed to London on July 14, but have been delayed indefinitely, a Syco Entertainment spokesman told the BBC.

“Today’s have been canceled and we have not made any decisions beyond that,” the source said.

The show announced last month that the upcoming season will feature Rita Ora and BBC Radio 1 DJ Nick Grimshaw as new judges, and Cowell said he was thrilled by the new blood. “The combination of Nick, Cheryl [Fernandez-Versini] and Rita is going to be a lot of fun! They all bring a lot of enthusiasm and passion for music to the show,” he shared in a statement.

Shocked by the news, and the X Factor delay? Be sure to send the Cowell family your best wishes.

Look back at the celebrities we lost in 2014:

Next: Rita Ora In As New 'X Factor' Judge

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