Prince’s Former Drummer John Blackwell Jr. Dies at 43
Prince’s Former Drummer John Blackwell Jr. Dies at 43
Photo courtesy of Instagram.

Prince's Longtime Drummer John Blackwell Jr. Has Died at 43

Prince's longtimedrummer John Blackwell Jr. has died at the age of 43. Blackwell Jr.'s wife, Yaritza Blackwell, confirmed the news on the drummer's Instagram page.

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Blackwell Jr. had spent the last year fighting brain cancer. Yaritza has been updating fans with updates on his condition.Recently, Blackwell lost use of his right arm after doctors removed a piece of his brain after taking out a tumor.

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On the last post, Yaritza posted a picture holding his hand, with the caption:

"My husband incredible drummer John Blackwell Jr. passed the way peacefully in my company today. Thanks God for his life and thanks everyone for their support. Yaritza"

For 15 years, Blackwell Jr. was Prince's drummer; he joinedthe New Power Generation in 2000, when he was only a couple of years out of Berklee College of Music.

While he was best known for touring with Prince, he also playedwith a Justin Timberlake,Dangelo, Bootsy Collins, and more.

After his death was announced, musicians under Prince's umbrella came out to show respect. Morris Day posted something for him on Facebook:

While Sheila E also honored the drummer on his Twitter.