Sticksman also performed with Justin Timberlake
Prince‘s former drummer John Blackwell Jr. has died at the age of 43.
The longtime sticksman performed in the late singer’s band The New Power Generation for 15 years.
He also played with a number of other high profile artists including Patti LaBelle, Justin Timberlake and Cameo.
His wife Yaritza announced his passing in a post on the drummer’s Instagram account. She wrote: “My husband incredible drummer John Blackwell Jr. passed the way peacefully in my company today (July 4). Thanks God for his life and thanks everyone for their support.”
She also revealed that he had been battling two brain tumours over the last year.
Born in Columbia, South Carolina in 1973, Blackwell Jr. started drumming for soul legend Patti LaBelle in 1998, before joining Prince’s band 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.
A GoFundMe page was set up to help cover his medical bills that reached more than $78,000 in donations as of yesterday.
The founder of Chic is gearing up to release the band’s first album in 25 years later this year with ‘It’s About Time’. It’ll be their first full-length record since 1992’s ‘Chic-ism’.
Speaking about the new release, Rodgers said that one provisional track on the album had the working title ‘Prince Said It’, which was about the “conversations” he’d had with the late artist.
“From the time that I started to work on this album, a lot of heavy things have happened,” Rodgers said. “I mean, David Bowie died. Prince died. People who were really, really close to me passed away, and that wasn’t supposed to be part of the narrative. The narrative was about working with these people – about having good times with them, you know?