Prince’s drummer John Blackwell Jr. dead at 43
John Blackwell Jr., the drummer who toured with Prince, died on Tuesday at the age of 43.
According to his wife, Yaritza, Blackwell died peacefully while she was by his side. “Thanks God for his life and thanks everyone for their support,” she wrote in a message to fans, friends, and family in speaking about his passing.
While it is not clear what Blackwell’s cause of death was, it is known that he was battling a brain tumor last year. He went through a whole barrage of tests in a Japanese hospital, and Yaritza raised over $78,000 on the fundraising site GoFundMe in order to help cover the cost of his health care.
Blackwell, who started playing the drums at the tender age of 3, toured with Patti LaBelle before he met Prince. He also toured with Justin Timberlake for his FutureSex/LoveSounds album.