Published: Tuesday, July 04, 2017 @ 2:32 PM
By: Joy Johnston, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
— John Blackwell Jr., a drummer best known for his work with Prince, has died at the age of 43.
His wife announced his death Tuesday on Instagram.
Blackwell was diagnosed with brain tumors in 2016, according to his wife, who posted on his social media accounts.
Blackwell began playing drums at the age of 3, inspired by his father, who was also a drummer. Blackwell performed with Patti LaBelle before joining Prince's band, The New Power Generation, in 2000. He played with Prince for 12 years before taking on other creative projects.
A GoFundMe account was established last year to cover Blackwell's medical expenses.