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David Bowie’s longtime producer Tony Visconti was one of the rock legend’s many peers and friends who spoke out after Bowie’s death on Sunday night.

“He always did what he wanted to do,” Visconti wrote in a Facebook post. “And he wanted to do it his way and he wanted to do it the best way. His death was no different from his life – a work of Art. He made Blackstar for us, his parting gift,” he said, referencing Bowie’s latest album, which debuted to critical acclaim on Jan. 8.

Visconti and Bowie had worked together for decades, but first collaborated on 1969’s iconic album Space Oddity. He also produced The Man Who Sold The World, Low, “Heroes,” Stage, Lodger, Scary Monsters, Heathen, Reality, The Next Day, and most recently, Blackstar.

Bowie had been diagnosed with cancer 18 months ago, but did not reveal his illness until his death. “I knew for a year this was the way it would be,” Visconti wrote. “I wasn’t, however, prepared for it. He was an extraordinary man, full of love and life. He will always be with us. For now, it is appropriate to cry.”

Read the whole message here: