John Blackwell Jr. passes away at 43

| Updated: Jul 06, 2017 02:48 IST

New Delhi [India], July 5 (ANI): John Blackwell Jr., best known for his work as a drummer in Prince Band, died in Florida after a year-long battle with brain tumor at 43. Blackwell's wife, Yaritza, announced her husband's death through his Instagram account, where she shared a picture of the duo holding hands. The picture was captioned as, "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."

Four days prior to his death, Yaritza had shared a picture of heath on his updated health with his picture. The photo was captioned as, "One year ago, my husband, incredible drummer John Blackwell Jr. was diagnosed with brain tumor 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."

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 Sanchez, 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

"I pray God for John everyday, every hour... and thank you for your prayers, donations and for the good thoughts for John," she added. Saddened Canadian pop singer Justin Bieber tweeted, "RIP, John Blackwell. You are a kind, gentle soul and one special talent. You will be missed by myself and so many. God bless you, bro." Blackwell performed with Prince for over a decade and also played on two of his releases, 2003's instrumental N.E.W.S. album and the Live at the Aladdin Las Vegas DVD. (ANI)

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