David Bowie, the British experimental rock icon, died Sunday in New York City. He was 69.

David Bowie Dies From Cancer

Bowie died following an 18-month battle with cancer that he hid from the public. His death was announced on his Facebook page Sunday evening.

David Bowie died peacefully surrounded by his family after a courageous 18-month battle with cancer,” the statement read. “While many of you will share in this loss, we ask that you respect the family’s privacy during their time of grief.”

Tony Visconti, a producer who had worked with Bowie since the 60s, also took to Facebook to share the news of the musician’s death. He also revealed that Bowie had made his final album, Blackstar, with the knowledge that he would soon die.

“He always did what he wanted to do. 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. 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.”

Blackstar was released on Bowie’s birthday, Friday, Jan. 8. The album, which features just seven songs, is thought to have been Bowie’s farewell to his fans.

Among Bowie’s best known tracks are “Let’s Dance,” “Changes,” “Space Oddity,” “Starman,” “Modern Love,” “Heroes,” “Under Pressure,” “Rebel Rebel” and “Life on Mars.”

Bowie is survived by his wife, Iman, son Duncan and daughter Alexandria.

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