Simon Cowell’s mother Julie Brett dies aged 89

The Cowell family said it is 'heartbroken' over her death

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Simon Cowell’s mother Julie Brett has died on Sunday aged 89.

Ms Brett, a former dancer and mother-of-four, had been ill for some time and reportedly died of a stroke, according to The Sun.

The Cowell family said it is “heartbroken” over the death of their "beloved" mother.

"Anyone who had met her would know what a truly special and kind lady she was," a statement from the family said. "We are heartbroken and will miss her terribly, but she is now at peace.”

Cowell's brother Tony also paid tribute to his mother as "the heart and soul of our family" in a tweet on Sunday evening.

Ms Brett had survived breast cancer and was made the honorary president of the charity Against Breast Cancer.

Auditions for the X-Factor, which were due to begin today in Manchester and carry on into Tuesday and Wednesday, have been postponed.

A spokesperson for Syco Entertainment said in a statement:  “Today's have been cancelled and we have not made any decisions beyond that.”