One of Prince’s favorite drummers, 43-year-old John Blackwell Jr., has died in Florida.
Blackwell’s wife, Yaritza Blackwell, said in a post Tuesday on his official Instagram account that he died “peacefully” in her company. She thanked God for his life and his fans for their support.
The Tampa-based Blackwell was a member of his band the New Power Generation and was Prince’s drummer for more than a decade. The Columbia, South Carolina native grew up in a musical family as his father, John Blackwell, Sr. was also a drummer.
Blackwell played for Patti Labelle, Justin Timberlake, Diddy, Maze and Bootsy Collins in his career. He’s released two instructional drumming DVD’s as well as a solo album in 2009, The John Blackwell Project.