Ne-Yo

Watch Ne-Yo’s Emotional Performance at George Floyd’s Funeral

Family, friends, politicians, and celebrities gathered to remember George Floyd at his funeral on Tuesday.

Rev. Al Sharpton, Jamie Foxx, Channing Tatum, and Al B. Sure! were among those in attendance at Houston’s Fountain of Praise church, along with Houston rappers Slim Thug, Paul Wall, and Trae Tha Truth. The memorial service featured rousing performances from Kim Burrell and Ne-Yo, who paid tribute to the 46-year-old father of three, who was killed at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer.

Ne-Yo addressed Floyd’s family, including his 6-year-old daughter Gianna, while thanking him for changing the world.

“Much love and strength to the family of George Floyd. Much love and strength to the family members that are here, anybody that’s been lost,” he said. “Fifty states all protesting at the same time. This man changed the world, changed the world for the better, so I just wanna personally thank George Floyd for his sacrifice so that my kids can be alright later on. I appreciate the sacrifice, my brother. I genuinely do.”

The R&B crooner was overcome with emotion as he performed an a cappella cover of Boyz II Men’s “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday” with its poignant lyrics, stopping at times as the crowd cheered him on. “I thought we’d get to see forever / But forever’s gone away / It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday,” sang Ne-Yo before breaking down in tears at the end.

Former Vice President Joe Biden did not attend Tuesday’s funeral, but delivered a video message during the service.

“Like so many others, I’ve watched with awe as you summoned the absolute courage to channel God’s grace and show the good man George was, to stir justice too long dormant, to move millions to act peacefully and purposely,” said Biden before addressing Gianna, who sat alongside former NBA star Stephen Jackson.

“When there is justice for George Floyd, we will truly be on our way to racial justice in America,” added the Democratic nominee. “And then, as you said Gianna, your daddy will have changed the world.”