HOUSTON  (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Grammy-winning singer Ne-Yo said George Floyd’s death was a sacrifice that “changed the world” before performing during his memorial service.

Ne-Yo shed tears on Tuesday while singing a rendition of G.C. Cameron’s “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday.”

The singer paused on a few occasions to collect himself during his performance.

“Fifty states are protesting at the same time,” he said. “This man changed the world. He changed the world for the better. I would like to personally thank George Floyd for his sacrifice, so that my kids could be all right later on. I appreciate the sacrifice. I genuinely do.”

Singer Ne-Yo performs at the funeral service for George Floyd at The Fountain of Praise Church on June 9, 2020, in Houston. (Photo by GODOFREDO A. VASQUEZ/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Meantime, Floyd’s gave him tearful tributes and made impassioned demands for justice at his funeral.

‘Big Floyd’ Remembered In Houston As Force For Change

The group of family members and close friends gathered around the podium at Fountain of Praise church in Houston and stepped up one at a time to talk about about their lost loved one.

Aunt Kathleen McGee laughed as she remembered the child family knew as Perry Jr., calling him a “pesky little rascal, but we loved him.”

Sister LaTonya Floyd was almost too overwhelmed to talk, wiping away tears and lowering her face mask to say “I’m going to miss my brother a whole lot and I love you. And I thank God for giving me my own personal Superman.”

Brooke Williams, a niece of Floyd, called for change to what she called “a corrupt and broken system.”

Two brothers and a close friend also spoke to mourn Floyd, whose death last month after a Minneapolis police officer put his knee on his neck for over eight minutes has inspired worldwide protests.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)