Columbia, SC – John Blackwell’s talent was evident by the artists he played with. From Patti LaBelle, Cameo and Prince, Blackwell’s ability to bring the drums to life made him a household name around the world and in the Midlands.

"I loved watching him play,” says Terence Young, Columbia guitarist. “He was just as exciting as watching Prince."

Young used to play with Blackwell years ago. Last year, they were able to reunite for one last jam session.

"He did his last concert here with me in Columbia, when I did the Prince tribute concert,” says Young. “He did a few songs with me and that was an honor."

A few months after that prince tribute concert, Blackwell lost the use of his arm due to brain tumors. After nearly a yearlong battle, he lost his life.

Young says he'll always remember his music.

"He was a world class drummer,” says Young. “He inspired millions of drummers around the world. He actually helped the public pay attention to musicians and their art and what they bring to a show.”

From the hi hat, to rim shot, his intricate skills and passion for music will always be remembered.

Blackwell was 43.