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

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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