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Ray J: 'The World Lost an Icon But I Lost My Close Friend'

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Nearly a week after Whitney Houston passed away unexpectedly at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, her close friend, Ray J, is speaking out.

"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," said Ray J in a statement released to ESSENCE.com.

"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."

In the hours following her death, Ray J was spotted on the fourth floor of the Beverly Hilton trying to see Houston's body.

It's unclear if Ray J will attend Houston's funeral tomorrow. Thus far, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, Clive Davis, Donnie McClurkin and more are set to honor Houston at her homegoing service.

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