John Blackwell Jr. had the honor to play alongside Prince, Patti LaBelle, King Curtis, D’Angelo, and more.
According to the New York Daily News, established drummer John Blackwell Jr. passed away at the age of 43. The musician had the pleasure to play with music icon Prince for over a decade.
No one from Blackwell’s family released the cause of death to the public, but he was diagnosed with several brain tumors in 2016.
When Blackwell was in Japan last year, he was hospitalized due to complications in his left arm. And when he came back to the United States, Blackwell lost control in his legs. He had to be admitted to Tampa General Hospital’s Rehabilitation Center, so he could learn how to walk again.
“I get lazy as everybody knows. “I’ll be like, ‘I don’t want to go,’ but then something tells me in my mind, ‘Hey bro if I’m going to get out of here and get back to the drums … go to your therapy,'” said Blackwell in a Tampa Bay 10 News interview.
Unfortunately, the musician’s condition became a life-threatening issue, and the medical bills increased substantially.
Yaritza, Blackwell’s wife, then began documenting the journey on social media and a supporter launched a GoFundMe campaign to help pay for Blackwell’s medical expenses.
As of Tuesday, his wife received over $78,000 in donations, according to New York Daily New.
Sadly enough, the drummer from South Carolina was not able to witness his wife’s success.