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Prince’s Longtime Drummer Dies at 43, Brain Tumor Suspected As the Cause

LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 19: John Blackwell attends Guitar Center’s Drum-Off Grand Finals event at Club Nokia on January 19, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Gabriel Olsen/FilmMagic)

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — One of Prince’s drummers, 43-year-old John Blackwell Jr., has died in Florida.

Blackwell’s wife, Yaritza Blackwell, said in a post Tuesday on his official Instagram account that he died “peacefully” in her company. She thanked God for his life and his fans for their support.

The Tampa-based Blackwell was Prince’s drummer for more than a decade.

The Hillsborough County Medical Examiner’s Office did not respond to a message seeking confirmation of Blackwell’s death.

A GoFundMe account set up by his wife said Blackwell was in the process of getting tested for “what the doctors think may be tumors in his brain.” The fund, set up about four months ago, had raised about $79,000.

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