David Bowie during David Bowie "Reality Tour" at Madison Square Garden - Show at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New

Brian Eno was one of David Bowie’s closest friends and most famous collaborators, and the producer has shared a touching story of the pair’s final correspondence before Bowie's death at the age of 69.

In a statement shared to BBC News (and reported by NME), Eno wrote:

"David's death came as a complete surprise, as did nearly everything else about him. I feel a huge gap now. We knew each other for over 40 years, in a friendship that was always tinged by echoes of [comic characters] Pete and Dud."

"Over the last few years - with him living in New York and me in London - our connection was by email," Eno continued. "We signed off with invented names: some of his were mr showbiz, milton keynes, rhoda borrocks and the duke of ear."

"I received an email from him seven days ago. It was as funny as always, and as surreal, looping through word games and allusions and all the usual stuff we did. It ended with this sentence: 'Thank you for our good times, brian. they will never rot'. And it was signed 'Dawn'. I realise now he was saying goodbye."

Eno famously helped Bowie sculpt his “Berlin Trilogy” of albums: 1977’s Low and “Heroes,” and 1979’s LodgerClick here for more Bowie tributes, from Madonna, Kanye West and many others.