Columbia native and former Prince drummer John Blackwell, Jr. has died, according to his Instagram account.

Blackwell's wife, Yaritza, shared the news through Blackwell's Instragram account, saying he died peacefully today with her by his side. He was just 43 years old.

{"version":"1.0","title":"My husband incredible drummer John Blackwell Jr. passed the way peacefully in my company today. Thanks God for his life and thanks everyone for their support. Yaritza","author_name":"johnblackwelljr","author_url":"https://www.instagram.com/johnblackwelljr","author_id":293671373,"media_id":"1551635040172152458_293671373","provider_name":"Instagram","provider_url":"https://www.instagram.com","type":"rich","width":658,"height":null,"html":"&#lt;blockquote class=\"instagram-media\" data-instgrm-captioned data-instgrm-version=\"7\" style=\" background:#FFF; border:0; border-radius:3px; box-shadow:0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width:658px; padding:0; width:99.375%; width:-webkit-calc(100% - 2px); width:calc(100% - 2px);\"&#gt;&#lt;div style=\"padding:8px;\"&#gt; &#lt;div style=\" background:#F8F8F8; line-height:0; margin-top:40px; padding:38.19444444444444% 0; text-align:center; width:100%;\"&#gt; &#lt;div style=\" background:url(data:image/png;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAACwAAAAsCAMAAAApWqozAAAABGdBTUEAALGPC/xhBQAAAAFzUkdCAK7OHOkAAAAMUExURczMzPf399fX1+bm5mzY9AMAAADiSURBVDjLvZXbEsMgCES5/P8/t9FuRVCRmU73JWlzosgSIIZURCjo/ad+EQJJB4Hv8BFt+IDpQoCx1wjOSBFhh2XssxEIYn3ulI/6MNReE07UIWJEv8UEOWDS88LY97kqyTliJKKtuYBbruAyVh5wOHiXmpi5we58Ek028czwyuQdLKPG1Bkb4NnM+VeAnfHqn1k4+GPT6uGQcvu2h2OVuIf/gWUFyy8OWEpdyZSa3aVCqpVoVvzZZ2VTnn2wU8qzVjDDetO90GSy9mVLqtgYSy231MxrY6I2gGqjrTY0L8fxCxfCBbhWrsYYAAAAAElFTkSuQmCC); display:block; height:44px; margin:0 auto -44px; position:relative; top:-22px; width:44px;\"&#gt;&#lt;/div&#gt;&#lt;/div&#gt; &#lt;p style=\" margin:8px 0 0 0; padding:0 4px;\"&#gt; &#lt;a href=\"https://www.instagram.com/p/BWIg9kegpaK/\" style=\" color:#000; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px; text-decoration:none; word-wrap:break-word;\" target=\"_blank\"&#gt;My husband incredible drummer John Blackwell Jr. passed the way peacefully in my company today. Thanks God for his life and thanks everyone for their support. Yaritza&#lt;/a&#gt;&#lt;/p&#gt; &#lt;p style=\" color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px; margin-bottom:0; margin-top:8px; overflow:hidden; padding:8px 0 7px; text-align:center; text-overflow:ellipsis; white-space:nowrap;\"&#gt;A post shared by John Blackwell (@johnblackwelljr) on &#lt;time style=\" font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px;\" datetime=\"2017-07-04T17:28:52+00:00\"&#gt;Jul 4, 2017 at 10:28am PDT&#lt;/time&#gt;&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;/div&#gt;&#lt;/blockquote&#gt;\n&#lt;script async defer src=\"//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js\"&#gt;&#lt;/script&#gt;","thumbnail_url":"https://scontent-atl3-1.cdninstagram.com/t51.2885-15/s640x640/sh0.08/e35/19623010_354978224918407_150943683565322240_n.jpg","thumbnail_width":640,"thumbnail_height":488}

Blackwell, who performed with Prince for 15 years, was considered a master drummer and was known for his unique style of drumming.

Blackwell graduated from Keenan High School, and is from a large family of musicians. He graduated from Berklee College of Music before being recruited by Prince to play in his band.

Blackwell also performed with a number of other high profile artists, including Patti LaBelle, Justin Timberlake, and Cameo.

Blackwell continued to play all over the world until it was discovered last year he had two brain tumors while in Japan playing the Blue Note Tokyo.

{"version":"1.0","title":"One year ago, my husband, incredible drummer John Blackwell Jr. was diagnosed with brain tumors while in Japan playing at the Blue Note Tokyo in a featuring with top bassist Nik West. This whole year has been very challenging not only for John, but for me also, that have to provide the care he needs, and with the help of God, you as donors, and his doctors, nurses and therapists he is still fighting hard to get better. Today, he faces another hospital change, now to a rehab facility, where he will receive Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapies to continue his long recovery process. I want to give special thanks to my mother, that for three months has been next to me everyday taking care of me and John, his friends John Spinelli, Tim Conwell, Bruce Harris and Takuya Futaesaku -Takki- and everyone who has visited him including his family, my family and his drummers friends Gregg Bissonette, Dennis Chambers, Antonio Sánchez, Billy Cobham, Chad Smith, Natalie Depergola, Connor Fass, Eric from Tampa, and musician Joe Cosas, just to name a few. I pray God for John everyday, every hour... and thank you for your prayers, donations and for the good thoughts for John. Yaritza","author_name":"johnblackwelljr","author_url":"https://www.instagram.com/johnblackwelljr","author_id":293671373,"media_id":"1548524331145899053_293671373","provider_name":"Instagram","provider_url":"https://www.instagram.com","type":"rich","width":658,"height":null,"html":"&#lt;blockquote class=\"instagram-media\" data-instgrm-captioned data-instgrm-version=\"7\" style=\" background:#FFF; border:0; border-radius:3px; box-shadow:0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width:658px; padding:0; width:99.375%; width:-webkit-calc(100% - 2px); width:calc(100% - 2px);\"&#gt;&#lt;div style=\"padding:8px;\"&#gt; &#lt;div style=\" background:#F8F8F8; line-height:0; margin-top:40px; padding:26.09375% 0; text-align:center; width:100%;\"&#gt; &#lt;div style=\" background:url(data:image/png;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAACwAAAAsCAMAAAApWqozAAAABGdBTUEAALGPC/xhBQAAAAFzUkdCAK7OHOkAAAAMUExURczMzPf399fX1+bm5mzY9AMAAADiSURBVDjLvZXbEsMgCES5/P8/t9FuRVCRmU73JWlzosgSIIZURCjo/ad+EQJJB4Hv8BFt+IDpQoCx1wjOSBFhh2XssxEIYn3ulI/6MNReE07UIWJEv8UEOWDS88LY97kqyTliJKKtuYBbruAyVh5wOHiXmpi5we58Ek028czwyuQdLKPG1Bkb4NnM+VeAnfHqn1k4+GPT6uGQcvu2h2OVuIf/gWUFyy8OWEpdyZSa3aVCqpVoVvzZZ2VTnn2wU8qzVjDDetO90GSy9mVLqtgYSy231MxrY6I2gGqjrTY0L8fxCxfCBbhWrsYYAAAAAElFTkSuQmCC); display:block; height:44px; margin:0 auto -44px; position:relative; top:-22px; width:44px;\"&#gt;&#lt;/div&#gt;&#lt;/div&#gt; &#lt;p style=\" margin:8px 0 0 0; padding:0 4px;\"&#gt; &#lt;a href=\"https://www.instagram.com/p/BV9dqy8ACwt/\" style=\" color:#000; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px; text-decoration:none; word-wrap:break-word;\" target=\"_blank\"&#gt;One year ago, my husband, incredible drummer John Blackwell Jr. was diagnosed with brain tumors while in Japan playing at the Blue Note Tokyo in a featuring with top bassist Nik West. This whole year has been very challenging not only for John, but for me also, that have to provide the care he needs, and with the help of God, you as donors, and his doctors, nurses and therapists he is still fighting hard to get better. Today, he faces another hospital change, now to a rehab facility, where he will receive Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapies to continue his long recovery process. I want to give special thanks to my mother, that for three months has been next to me everyday taking care of me and John, his friends John Spinelli, Tim Conwell, Bruce Harris and Takuya Futaesaku -Takki- and everyone who has visited him including his family, my family and his drummers friends Gregg Bissonette, Dennis Chambers, Antonio Sánchez, Billy Cobham, Chad Smith, Natalie Depergola, Connor Fass, Eric from Tampa, and musician Joe Cosas, just to name a few. I pray God for John everyday, every hour... and thank you for your prayers, donations and for the good thoughts for John. Yaritza&#lt;/a&#gt;&#lt;/p&#gt; &#lt;p style=\" color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px; margin-bottom:0; margin-top:8px; overflow:hidden; padding:8px 0 7px; text-align:center; text-overflow:ellipsis; white-space:nowrap;\"&#gt;A post shared by John Blackwell (@johnblackwelljr) on &#lt;time style=\" font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px;\" datetime=\"2017-06-30T10:28:27+00:00\"&#gt;Jun 30, 2017 at 3:28am PDT&#lt;/time&#gt;&#lt;/p&#gt;&#lt;/div&#gt;&#lt;/blockquote&#gt;\n&#lt;script async defer src=\"//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js\"&#gt;&#lt;/script&#gt;","thumbnail_url":"https://scontent-atl3-1.cdninstagram.com/t51.2885-15/e35/19534250_328571934232399_7453072541343547392_n.jpg","thumbnail_width":320,"thumbnail_height":167}

Since that diagnosis, Blackwell changed his focus to undergoing surgeries and fighting to survive, although he lost the use of an arm when doctors removed part of his brain while removing the tumors.

Blackwell said last fall Prince was like a father figure to him and recruited him to play with him. He said a dear friend had recently told him that he could just imagine Prince calling for him to play even in heaven. Blackwell laughed saying, "I can hear Prince now say 'I'll just call John.' No you ain't! I don't want to do that gig. Not yet."

One of his last performances was with Columbia guitarist Terence Young. We'll speak to him about the life and legacy of John Blackwell, Jr. tonight on News19 at 11 p.m.