By Laura Hertzfeld
February 12, 2012 at 07:51 PM EST

“I am deeply saddened at the passing of my ex-wife, Whitney Houston,” Houston’s ex-husband, R&B star Bobby Brown, said in a statement to People magazine following news of her death on Saturday.

“At this time, we ask for privacy, especially for my daughter, Bobbi Kristina. I appreciate all of the condolences that have been directed towards my family and I at this most difficult time.”

Brown performed with his band New Edition in Mississippi last night, where he commemorated Houston on stage: “First of all, I want to tell you that I love you all,” Brown told the audience. “Second, I would like to say, ‘I love you Whitney.’ The hardest thing for me to do is come on this stage.”

Houston’s mother, gospel singer Cissy Houston, also issued a statement in light of the tragic death of her daughter. “We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Whitney. This is an unimaginable tragedy and we will miss her terribly. We appreciate the outpouring of love and support from her fans and friends.”

Read more:

Full Coverage: Whitney Houston

Post your Whitney Houston memories on Facebook

Celebrities react on Twitter to Houston’s death