When R. Kelly wrote ‘I Look to You’ for Whitney Houston 10 years ago, he never thought that he’d be singing it at the legend’s funeral. Kelly choked back tears during his rousing performance of the song at Houston’s memorial yesterday (Feb. 18), giving a new meaning to the track he penned.Kelly pauses briefly to collect himself at several points throughout his performance, his longest break about midway through. His lips quiver, and he clutches tissues in his free hand.

However, he regains his vocal power shortly after, almost seeming to garner it from the spirit and memory of Houston herself. “When all the melodies are gone,” Kelly sings, “In you I can be strong.“ At times, Kelly sings to the sky, pointing up towards the heavens where he’s confident Houston now resides.

Despite his visible sorrow and grief, R. Kelly delivers a powerful performance, evoking tears in everyone onscreen. He rouses the crowd out of their seats before closing with the simplest of sentiments: “Goodbye, Whitney. We love you.”

Watch R. Kelly Perform ‘I Look to You’ at Whitney Houston’s Funeral