SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Sad tributes flooded social media on Tuesday as artists, friends, loved ones and fans mourned the death of Prince’s former drummer John Blackwell.

The 43-year-old South Carolina native died after a yearlong battle with brain tumors.

john blackwell 1499195241384 9966931 ver1 0 Fans, Music World Mourn Loss Of Princes Longtime Drummer John Blackwell


He was 43.

A master of R&B, funk, jazz, fusion and pop, Blackwell played for 15 years with Prince but lent his talents to many, many other artists including Cameo, Patti LaBelle, Justin Timberlake and D’Angelo.

Blackwell’s wife, Yaritza shared the news on his death on his Instagram account Tuesday and wrote, “My husband incredible drummer John Blackwell Jr. passed away peacefully in my company today. Thank God for his life and thanks everyone for their support.”

Condolences have poured in ever since. Drummer Questlove was among the first.

Brother John… john.

A post shared by Questlove Gomez (@questlove) on

For the last months, Yaritza maintained Blackwell’s Instagram, posting periodic updates for friends and fans.

Here is a post from Yaritza from last February, thanking everyone for their continued support.


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