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Blackwell Jr. also played drums for Patti La Belle, D’Angelo, Justin Timberlake and more.

John Blackwell Jr., the longtime drummer for Prince who performed in his band The New Power Generation, has died aged 43.

According to a statement from Blackwell Jr.’s wife Yaritza, he passed away “peacefully in my company today” (July 4). He had been diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2016.

Born in Columbia, South Carolina in 1973, Blackwell Jr. started drumming for soul legend Patti LaBelle in 1998, before joining Prince’s band, the New Power Generation, in 2000.

He also toured with Justin Timberlake on his 2006 FutureSex/LoveSounds tour and was a member of D’Angelo’s band the Vanguard.

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