Simon Cowell’s mother Julie Brett has died at the age of 89, the Cowell family has confirmed. Ms Brett passed away on Sunday after suffering a stroke following a long illness, The Sun newspaper reports. In the wake of his mother's passing the 'X-Factor' judge has cancelled the first round of auditions for the talent show, which were due to take place today (July 6th).

Simon CowellSimon Cowell’s mother Julie has passed away aged 89.

“Today our beloved mum Julie passed away,” a statement from the Cowell family read. “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.”

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A spokesman for the family added: “We would like to thank the media for kindly respecting Julie’s privacy throughout and we politely request continued privacy for the entire family at this particularly difficult time.”

Cowell’s brother Tony described his mother as "the heart and soul of our family" in a tweet on Sunday evening. The former dancer was a mother of four who had survived breast cancer and was made the honorary president of the charity Against Breast Cancer.

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Auditions for Cowell’s series ‘The X-Factor’ which were due to begin today in Manchester have been cancelled following the news of Ms Brett’s death. A spokesperson for Syco Entertainment confirmed the cancellation saying, ‘They were due to start today and carry on into Tuesday and Wednesday. Today’s have been cancelled and we have not made any decisions beyond that.'