Prince's Drummer Dead At 43 Following Cancer Battle

Jul. 5 2017, Updated 12:34 p.m. ET

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John Blackwell Jr., who served as Prince's drummer for 15 years, has died following a battle with cancer. He was just 43.

The musician's wife, Yaritza, announced the tragic news on Instagram Tuesday, sharing a photo of his hand in hers at the hospital.

"My husband incredible drummer John Blackwell Jr. passed the way sic peacefully in my company today," she wrote alongside the image. "Thanks God for his life and thanks everyone for their support."

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According to reports, Blackwell, who lived in Florida, was diagnosed with brain tumors last year.

In the summer of 2016, he went to Tampa General Hospital's Rehabilitation Center to learn how to walk again after the tumors affected the use of his left arm and leg.

Following the announcement of his passing, stars began to mourn the loss of Blackwell, who also played for Patti LaBelle and Justin Timberlake during his successful career.

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