John Blackwell Jr., who had a long-standing association with none other than Prince has reportedly died. He worked with Prince as his drummer for a long time. He was 43.
He was one of the best drummers in the world and was respected for his dexterity. John Blackwell Jr. was a well-known figure in the Hollywood and his association with Prince gave him the limelight he deserved.
To be true, his association with Prince was not a short one but last more than a decade. To be true, the two remained together for as long as twelve long years to be precise. John Blackwell Jr. cause of death is said to be cancer. He was suffering from brain tumor for more than a year.
Reports suggest that the drummer was actually diagnosed with brain tumors in 2016, which effected the use of his left arm and leg.
It was in the year 2008 that he shifted to Los Angeles. He played with Prince for 12 years and appeared on his 2003 Live at the Aladdin Las Vegas DVD, and the 2003 instrumental album, N.E.W.S, which was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Album. Blackwell played with Maze, featuring Frankie Beverly. He released his debut album in December 2009, titled The John Blackwell Project. He released two educational drumming DVDs: John Blackwell – Technique, Grooving and Showmanship, and John Blackwell.
Other than his association with prince, he had endorsements from Dixon Drums, Remo Drumheads, Regal Tip Drumsticks, and Turkish Cymbals. Previously, he endorsed Tama Drums, Yamaha Drums, Evans Drumheads, Sabian Cymbals, Zildjian Cymbals and Drumsticks, and Vater Drumsticks. Blackwell joined Xuwei’s band for his tour named “At This Moment”(Xuwei:Chinese musician) in 2013.
The news of his demise was announced by his wife Yaritza. In an Instagram post she said, “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.”