Celebrities including Jamie Foxx, Channing Tatum and NFL stars attended George Floyd‘s funeral in Houston, Texas on Tuesday, with Joe Biden making an appearance via video link and singer Ne-Yo fighting tears while performing.
Other well-known attendees included Floyd Mayweather – who sent Floyd’s family a check for all four memorial services around the country – as well as Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Congressman Al Green, and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee.
Houston Texans football player JJ Watt, chairman and chief executive officer of the Houston Texans Cal McNair, and Cincinnati Bengals star DJ Reader were also seen at the Fountain of Praise church which had approximately 500 guests.
Actor Channing Tatum, back left, sits with actor Jamie Foxx during a funeral service for George Floyd at the church Tuesday
Singer Ne-Yo looked emotional as he performed in front of 500 guests in George Floyd’s hometown Houston, Texas
Houston Texans NFL player J. J. Watt, pauses by the casket of George Floyd on Tuesday at the Fountain of Praise church
Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden speaks via video link as guests attend the funeral service
Reverend Al Sharpton is seen arriving at the funeral for George Floyd, whose death in Minneapolis police custody has sparked nationwide protests against racial inequality. He wore a face mask with the branding for his National Action Network
The service began with gospel music and Reverend Al Sharpton walking down the aisle with Floyd’s family’s members, all dressed in white to celebrate Floyd’s life.
Singer Ne-Yo cried as he did the family tribute.
The Grammy-winning singer 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.’
Dray Tate also performed Sam Cooke’s Change Is Gonna Come to a video montage of protests that have taken place around the world.
The families of Ahmaud Arbery, Botham Jean, and Eric Garner, other African Americans who have died in senseless incidents of brutality, also came to pay their respects.
Tatum wore a disposable nose and mouth covering while Foxx wore a black fabric face mask with George Floyd’s name on
The actors were among around 500 invited guests at the service which took place before George Floyd was buried
Foxx has been one of the faces of the Black Lives Matter movement to help get the officers responsible for the killing charged
At one point singer Ne-Yo appeared to be on the verge of tears as his performed at the service in Floyd’s hometown
Singer Ne-Yo (C) arrives for George Floyd’s funeral on June 9, 2020, at The Fountain of Praise church in Houston, Texas
Cal McNair, chairman and chief executive officer of the Houston Texans, pauses by the casket during a funeral service
Dray Tate sang A Change is Going to Come while a montage of protests played on a video screen and and visual artist Ange Hillz created a painting of George Floyd (left) and Nakitta Foxx sang We Offer Praise (right)
Rep. Al Green (D-TX) speaks at the funeral service for George Floyd in the chapel at the Fountain of Praise church on June 9
Presumptive democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden shared a moving video message at the service where he declared, ‘Now is the time for racial justice’.
‘To George’s family and friends: Jill and I know the deep hole in your hearts when you bury a piece of your soul deep in this Earth. As I said to you privately, we know you will never feel again.
‘To George’s children and grandchild: I know you miss your dad and granddad. To Gianna, as I said to you when I saw you yesterday you’re so brave, daddy’s looking down and he’s so proud of you…I know you have a lot of questions, honey. No child should have to ask the question that too many black children have had to ask – why? Why is daddy gone?
‘Why in this nation do too many black Americans wake up knowing they could lose their life in the course of just living their life.
Now is the time for racial justice. That’s the answer we must give to our children when they ask why. Because when there’s justice for George Floyd we will truly be on the way to racial justice in America. Then as you said Gianna, your daddy will have changed the world.’
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner speaks during the funeral for George Floyd on Tuesday with an art piece of Floyd behind him
Rep. Sylvia Garcia(D-TX) speaks to Philonise Floyd during the funeral service. She wore an ‘I can’t breathe’ face mask
US Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, speaks with Roxie Washington and Gianna Floyd, the daughter of George Floyd. She also spoke on stage
Former Houston Mayor Annise Parker pauses with her eyes close by the casket of George Floyd during a funeral service
The service caps off six days of mourning for the black man whose death inspired a global reckoning over police brutality and racial injustice. Over the past six days, memorials for Mr Floyd were held in Minneapolis, where he lived in recent years, and Raeford, North Carolina, near where he was born.
Among guests were the families of other black Americans killed with no justice, including Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin.
Mr Floyd, 46, was to be laid to rest next to his mother in the suburb of Pearland. He cried out for his mother as a white Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee on his neck on May 25.
About 6,000 people attended a public memorial on Monday in Houston, where Mr Floyd grew up.
Under a blazing Texas sun, mourners wearing T-shirts with his picture or I Can’t Breathe – the words he uttered as he lay pinned to the pavement for what prosecutors say was eight minutes, 46 seconds – waited for hours to pay their respects. Mr Floyd’s body lay in an open gold-colored casket.
Mr Floyd’s death sparked international protests and scattered violence and drew new attention to the treatment of African Americans in the US by police and the criminal justice system.