R&B singer Ne-Yo performed at George Floyd's Houston funeral on Tuesday, and the Grammy-winner broke down while singing the Boyz II Men song "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday." Ne-Yo performed an a cappella rendition of the song, becoming noticeably overcome with emotion at one point, having to stop and collect himself before continuing.
Floyd died on May 25, after now-fired Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for close to nine minutes. A bystander caught the tragic incident on camera, with Floyd seen going from pleading with the officers that he couldn't breathe to becoming unresponsive. A lawyer for Floyd's family, Ben Crump, previously stated that he was dead at the scene. Floyd's death sparked mass protests nationwide, over his death as well as over police brutality that has plagued the black community for decades.
In addition to Ne-Yo, Floyd's funeral drew a number of high profile attendees who showed up to pay their respects, such as Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx, and Houston Texans player J.J. Watt. Former Vice President, and assumed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden issued a message via pre-recorded video that was played. "As I've said to you privately, we know. We know you will never feel the same again," Biden said. "Unlike most, you must grieve in public, and it's a burden. A burden that is now your purpose to change the world for the better, in the name of George Floyd."
Biden continued, "Ladies and gentlemen, we can't turn away. We must not turn away. America can do better. America has no choice but to do better. We can heal this nation's wounds. Today, now, is the time. The purpose, the season, to listen and heal."
Rev. Al Sharpton delivered a moving eulogy at the close of the service, praising Floyd's family for their strength and vowing that they will continue to have support even when the "last TV truck is gone." He added, "We must commit to this family that until these people pay for what they did, that we're going to be with them because lives like George's will not matter until someone pays the cost for taking their lives." Ending his message, Sharpton said, "Your family is going to miss you, George, but your nation is always going to remember your name. We're going to fight on."