John Blackwell Jr., Prince's Ex-Drummer Cause of Death

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"My husband incredible drummer John Blackwell Jr. passed the way [sic] peacefully in my company today", she captioned an image of her grasping his hand. She went on to thank God for his life and his fans for their support.

In June, Blackwell announced that he had lost the use of his left arm and leg, and that as a result he had been diagnosed with a brain tumour.

John Blackwell Jr., the stylish percussion powerhouse best known for his 15-year tenure with Prince, has died after battling cancer.

Blackwell said last fall Prince was like a father figure to him and recruited him to play with him. He was highly respected for his unique style of drumming. Blackwell laughed saying, "I can hear Prince now say 'I'll just call John.' No you ain't!"

Although he was best known for sharing the stage with Prince, he had also worked with the likes of Patti LaBelle, Justin Timberlake, D'Angelo, and Utada Hikaru. "No you ain't! I don't want to do that gig". Blackwell joined Prince's The New Power Generation band in 2000.

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He also talked about his ongoing rehabilitation.

People reports that at the time, Blackwell told 10 News that at first he was lazy about the therapy and didn't want to go, but then something told him if he wants to get back on the drums, he had to go to therapy.

"Rest In Peace #JohnBlackwell Your legend will live 4ever", Travis Barker shared on Twitter. The bassist Nik West, who was performing with Blackwell in Japan when he fell ill, also posted a moving tribute. "Your handsome spirit and incredible music will live on 4Ever!"

Blackwell released his own debut album, The John Blackwell Project, in 2009.

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