SIMON Cowell broke down in tears on Saturday night's X Factor final after becoming overwhelmed seeing the children he has met from a hospice starring in his charity single video.
Viewers were shocked and upset to see the music mogul, 60, sobbing and unable to speak after watching children from the Demelza Hospice sing and dance.
Now The Sun Online can reveal that dad-of-one Simon, who is Vice-President of Shooting Star Children's Hospice's, has personally visited and become close to the children.
A source said: "The charity and children mean so much to Simon, he has a personal connection with them after visiting the hospice several times recently.
“When Simon went to the hospice a couple of weeks ago, he had to be so strong in front of the children and the families, not cry or seem upset. That was really important. But when he watched their video played on the show, he was overcome with emotion and couldn’t hold back his tears.”
Simon's girlfriend Lauren Silverman, 42, with whom he has son Eric, five, rushed to hug him during the live final as he sobbed.
Host Dermot O'Leary looked teary-eyed himself as he turned to Simon after the video ended and asked for his thoughts.
The head judge exhaled and attempted to respond, but he couldn't. Instead, he lifted his glasses, pinched the bridge of his nose and cried.
Fellow judge Nicole Scherzinger rubbed Simon's arm for comfort just as Simon's girlfriend Lauren ran onto the judge's podium and wrapped her arms around him from behind.
Dermot then swiftly moved on as Simon composed himself off camera.
Simon has been involved with the charity since 2003 and was named Vice-President in 2015.
He has held an Annual Tea event since 2012 and has said of the charity's work: "Everyone involved in the charity does an amazing job caring for babies, children and young people with life-limiting conditions as well as supporting their families.
“I’ve formed a very close bond with the people involved with the charity over the years and it has become extremely close to my heart."
All proceeds from the single, a cover of Snow Patrol's Run, will be donated to Shooting Star Children’s Hospices, along with the children’s hospice umbrella organisation, Together For Short Lives.
All the finalists: Max and Harvey, Jenny Ryan, V5 and winner Megan McKenna also feature.
The Sun revealed last week that The X Factor would swap the traditional winner's single for a group effort this year.
Try Star's Ben Foden, 34, said: "Charity singles are always so iconic.
"It's a lovely memory for us to have but more importantly, we're all doing this for a fantastic cause."
Wes Nelson, 21, added: "We've seen some absolutely amazing charity singles over the years and to be part of that is surreal. It's something that makes a difference.
"Yes, X Factor was great and it meant a lot but I think this is one of the most meaningful things you can do with music."
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