The Starman singer passed away on Sunday (10Jan16), 18 months after he was fell ill with liver cancer and just two days after the release of his final record, Blackstar.

Tony, who worked with David on many of his hit albums over the years, has now revealed the music legend broke the news of his health crisis to him a year ago after he started chemotherapy and lost his hair.

"He just came fresh from a chemo session, and he had no eyebrows, and he had no hair on his head," Tony tells Rolling Stone. "There was no way he could keep it a secret from the band. But he told me privately, and I really got choked up when we sat face to face talking about it."

Tony goes on to explain that David appeared to be winning his cancer battle in the middle of last year (15), but he was given a terminal diagnosis in November when doctors found the disease had spread.

"He was optimistic because he was doing the chemo and it was working," he adds. "And at one point in the middle of last year, he was in remission. I was thrilled. And he was a bit apprehensive. He said, 'Well, don't celebrate too quickly. For now I'm in remission, and we'll see how it goes.' And he continued the chemotherapy. So I thought he was going to make it. And in November, it just suddenly came back. It had spread all over his body, so there's no recovering from that."

David even started working on a follow-up to Blackstar and recorded five demos before his health took a turn for the worse, but Tony was convinced the album had been deliberately written as a farewell to fans.

"(I told him) 'You canny (clever) b**tard. You're writing a farewell album'..." he adds. "He was so brave and courageous. And his energy was still incredible for a man who had cancer. He never showed any fear. He was just all business about making the album."