Blackwell's wife Yaritza -- who has documented her husband's painful struggle via his Instagram account -- broke the news on Tuesday, writing, "My husband incredible drummer John Blackwell Jr. passed away peacefully in my company today. Thank God for his life and thanks everyone for their support."
Hall of fame bassist/voicalist, and former Prince collaborator Nik West, took to Twitter, sharing, "#Prince just got his favorite drummer back and I know John is killing that groove up there. ??#RipJohnBlackwell."