NEW YORK (AP) - Ray J - who was one of the people who spent time with Whitney Houston in her last days - is expressing his sorrow over her loss.

In a statement to The Associated Press on Friday, he said he's spent the last few days trying to "process the emptiness that I feel."

The singer said the world lost an icon but he lost a "close friend." Calling her by her nickname, he added: "Nippy I miss you so much!"

Remembering Whitney Through Photos


His representative, Courtney Barnes, says Ray J, whose sister is singer Brandy, will be at Saturday's funeral for Houston in Newark, N.J.

Ray J and Houston spent time together in the days before her death. She died in a hotel suite in Beverly Hills, Calif., last Saturday.

Watch 'Whitney Houston Funeral to Be Invitation Only'

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Whitney Houston Funeral to Be Invitation Only