Prince Drummer John Blackwell, Jr. Suffering From Brain Tumors

by VVN Music

Eleven months ago, we reported that Prince drummer John Blackwell, Jr. had lost the use of his left arm and leg while touring in Japan.

Today, Blackwell continues his health fight after being diagnosed with brain tumors. The story of the past year has been a roller coaster of ups and downs including numerous fights with the medical insurance industry.

John was originally supposed to spend a week in the Japanese hospital before being brought home to Florida by his wife, Yaritza. Denials from the insurance company pushed that flight out an additional week.

In October of last year, John posted a video on his condition and thanking fans.


A month later, Blackwell suffered a series of seizures and was put back in the hospital followed by a time in rehabilitation.

Then, two months ago, Yaritza reported that John was having health complications. Since, he has been in and out of the ICU, including times when he was listed in critical condition.

Earlier today (June 2), Yaritza posted that John was moved to a new hospital where they are going to work on his breathing complications. Once again, the transfer for the help he needed was denied three times by the insurance company before being approved.

John and Yaritza have had a GoFundMe page set up for some time to help defray the additional costs of helping John above and beyond what insurance will cover. Those who would like to donate can go to gofundme.com/JohnBlackwellJr.

Blackwell started playing drums at the age of 3, learning from his father who had played with artists like Mary Wells, King Curtis and Joe Simon.

Professionally, Blackwell has played for Cameo, Patti LaBelle, Prince, Maze Featuring Frankie Beverly and D'Angelo.

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