John Blackwell Jr., best known as a drummer for one of Prince's bands, has been pronounced dead at age 43, following a battle with cancer.
The news of Blackwell's death came courtesy of a message from his wife, who shared the sad news on the drummer's Instagram page. A picture that appears to be her holding his hand during his final moments was accompanied by a brief caption.
"My husband incredible drummer John Blackwell Jr. passed [away] peacefully in my company today," she said. "Thanks God for his life and thanks everyone for their support."
When news of his death hit social media, other players around the music industry saw fit to pay their respects to the musician, including Blink 182's Travis Barker and another longtime Prince collaborator, Sheila E.
Rest In Peace #JohnBlackwell Your legend will live 4ever. One of the best to ever pick up drumsticks. Prayers to family and friends 🥁🙏🏻— Travis Barker (@travisbarker) July 4, 2017
My beautiful friend John Blackwell passed away 2day Plz keep his family in prayer. He was amazing manLuv u my brother pic.twitter.com/X08DYf7MJO— SheilaEdrummer (@SheilaEdrummer) July 4, 2017
Blackwell spent over a decade as the drummer for Prince's band The New Power Generation, following stints alongside artists like Patti Labelle. After playing alongside Prince propelled him to new heights, Blackwell was able to tour with a number of major artists in various genres, including Justin Timberlake, Bootsy Collins, and D'Angelo. Blackwell was also a part of Prince's 2003 instrumental album News, which was nominated for the Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental Album.
The drummer had been battling complications from brain tumors since at least June 2016.
- Gene Simmons Calls Prince’s Death “Pathetic” (UPDATE)
- Prince Was Reportedly Going to Meet With Addiction Specialist One Day Before He Died
- Prince's Former Attorney L. Londell McMillan Responds to Jay Z's '4:44' Diss
More from Complex
- Zedd and Liam Payne Link for New Single "Get Low"
- Ronda Rousey Shares Her Prediction for the Floyd Mayweather/Conor McGregor Fight
- Margaret Atwood Wants Drake to Join Season 2 of 'The Handmaid's Tale'
- Unboxing a Pair of Sneakers Made for President Obama
- Vince Staples Delivers ‘Big Fish Theory’ Merch