"He always did what he wanted to do," Visconti wrote. "And he wanted to do it his way and he wanted to do it the best way. His death was not different from his life — a work of Art. He made Blackstar for us, his parting gift."
Bowie had been battling cancer for 18 months, and his illness was not publicly revealed until the announcement of his death. "I knew for a year this was the way it would be," Visconti continued in his note. "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."
Visconti and Bowie had a decades-long working relationship. The pair first linked up for Bowie's second studio album, Space Oddity (originally titled David Bowie). Over their nearly five decades of friendship, Visconti produced everything from Berlin-era Bowie releases Low and "Heroes" to his two most recent LPs following a lengthy hiatus, 2013's The Next Day and this year's Blackstar.