Whitney Houston's on-again-off-again boyfriend Ray J (singer Brandy Norwood's brother) has released a statement about Houston's death, six days after the singer died in her hotel room.

    "Over the past few days, I've tried to process the emptiness that I am experiencing. What my heart feels cannot be expressed in words. The world lost an icon, but I lost my close friend. Nippy, I miss you so much! You were so happy and full of love. Your smile will live in my heart forever."

When Ray J, 31, learned of Houston's death Saturday, he "rushed over" to the Beverly Hilton Hotel and "spent the night comforting Bobbi Kristina," an source told Us Weekly.

Whitney's funeral will be held Saturday at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, NJ and her body will be buried at Westfield, NJ's Fairview Cemetery on Sunday.