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John Blackwell Jr. Cause of Death: How Did Prince’s Drummer Die?


John Blackwell Jr., a former drummer for musical legend Prince, died at age 43 in Florida.

John Blackwell Jr. Cause of Death

Last year, it was discovered that Blackwell had two brain tumors discovered during a trip in Japan.

His wife Yaritza announced his passing on Blackwell’s Instagram account.

The photo caption reads: “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.”

Blackwell and his family chronicled his health in a separate Instagram post earlier this year when he was forced to go to a rehab facility.

One year ago, my husband, incredible drummer John Blackwell Jr. was diagnosed with brain tumors while in Japan playing at the Blue Note Tokyo in a featuring with top bassist Nik West. This whole year has been very challenging not only for John, but for me also, that have to provide the care he needs, and with the help of God, you as donors, and his doctors, nurses and therapists he is still fighting hard to get better. Today, he faces another hospital change, now to a rehab facility, where he will receive Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapies to continue his long recovery process. I want to give special thanks to my mother, that for three months has been next to me everyday taking care of me and John, his friends John Spinelli, Tim Conwell, Bruce Harris and Takuya Futaesaku -Takki- and everyone who has visited him including his family, my family and his drummers friends Gregg Bissonette, Dennis Chambers, Antonio S├ínchez, Billy Cobham, Chad Smith, Natalie Depergola, Connor Fass, Eric from Tampa, and musician Joe Cosas, just to name a few. I pray God for John everyday, every hour… and thank you for your prayers, donations and for the good thoughts for John. Yaritza

A post shared by John Blackwell (@johnblackwelljr) on


Blackwell performed with Prince for 15 years. During this time, he quickly earned a reputation as a master drummer with a original style all his own. Originally from Columbia, South Carolina, Blackwell performed with a handful of other iconic musicians including: Patti LaBelle, Justin Timberlake and Cameo.

  • COED Writer
    A New York native & proud couch potato who loves all things pop culture. I can usually be found writing, making videos and ranking all the warriors in "Game of Thrones" based on their fighting prowess.