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Thread started 05/12/05 7:25pm

AnckSuNamun

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John Blackwell's first t.v interview since the death of his daughter Jia.

Playing 4 Jia: World class musician works through death of daughter

(Columbia) May 12, 2005 - John Blackwell, Jr. reminisced about hanging out at Sims Music on St. Andrews Road when he was just a little kid with big dreams, "I said to myself, I said, 'Man, one day I'm gonna get a poster and I'm be on the poster."

He's now a world-renowned drummer.

This is his first trip home in a year. He wanted to visit before now but, "It would have been too painful for me and it's still painful now."

John's last trip to Columbia was with his family. His wife Joann, son Javen and daughter Jia were all with him last May when he accepted the key to the city. He said at the time it was one of his proudest moments.

Just months later it would be overshadowed by his deepest heartbreak. John was on tour in Chicago when he made a routine call home, "At first I spoke to my daughter, I spoke to Jia, you know she was mumbling something. You know kids that age they're still trying to talk. The last thing she said was, 'I love you daddy,' and gave the phone back to my wife."

A few minutes later he heard his wife asking, "Where's Jia?" In the next few moments his life changed forever, "She looked out in the backyard and that's when she saw Jia in the pool. And the last thing I heard was a big scream and the phone just went dead."

Minutes later he got a call back, "My brother-in-law said Jia fell in the pool and they're trying to save her right now as we speak."

The hospital called before John could get to the airport, "They said, 'Mr. Blackwell, we tried for 45 minutes to revive your daughter, there's no more we can do.' Right then and there I broke down."

John left the Prince tour and was content to completely disappear from the music scene.

But after a few days a close friend gave him something to think about. He asked John what would it feel like to play again, just for Jia, "He said, 'What do you see?' I said, 'I see a lot of people cheering.' He said, 'Now what else do you see?' 'I see my daughter looking down, smiling on me' He said, 'Isn't that a sign you should go do that show.' I said, 'Yeah, I want to do it.'"

The night before Jia's funeral John played with Prince at the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans. It was an emotional tribute. He wore a shirt with Jia's picture on it and he played his heart out, "It was just like I saw it in my mind. I could actually see my daughter. You know, Jesus holding her, looking down and smiling at me and that made me feel good."

John says he realized Jia wouldn't want him to throw away his talent, instead he decided to help others in Jia's name. He recently set up the Jia Kennie Memorial Scholarship at Berklee College of Music, his alma mater. It's for any female musician who has the talent, drive, spirit and enthusiasm to succeed, but can't afford to go to school.

He's hoping to set up a similar scholarship here in Columbia, "It's hard to think about, the whole situation, but I'm doing it for a purpose."

John is getting back into the groove after taking some time off. He also renamed his signature drumsticks in honor of his daughter, so whenever and wherever he plays, there'll always be a special beat in his heart for Jia, "Her eyes would just capture you, you know. She was an angel."

By Judi Gatson
Posted 6:22pm by BrettWitt

Here's a link to the t.v interview:
http://www.wistv.com/Glob...v=0RaMZnQU
rose looking for you in the woods tonight rose Switch FC SW-2874-2863-4789 (Rum&Coke)
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Reply #1 posted 05/12/05 7:38pm

psychodelicide

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sad This tragic story still makes me sad, but it's nice to see that John is keeping his daughter's memory alive by setting up a musical scholarship.
RIP, Prince. A legend has left us, and you will be forever missed. cry

"She probably found her vagina". lol
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Reply #2 posted 05/12/05 9:18pm

PurpleKnight

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John's a great guy, I'm really sorry this ever had to happen to him. Good to hear he's persevering.
The world is a comedy for those who think and a tragedy for those who feel.

"You still wanna take me to prison...just because I won't trade humanity for patriotism."
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Reply #3 posted 05/12/05 10:07pm

popgodazipa

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Wow. Couldn't even finish reading that without my eyes welling up with tears. I was there in New Orleans and I promise you John did blaze those drums. Makes that performance and the entire tour that much more meaningful.

Summertime is here and unfortunately I am sure we will be hearing more stories like this in the news. If you are fortunate enough to have a pool on your property consider erecting a childproof gate around it. I had one done at my home, cost me about $2-$3000. Even still accidents can happen, do what you can while you can to prevent them.
1 over Jordan...the greatest since
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Reply #4 posted 05/12/05 10:49pm

CandaceS

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popgodazipa said:

...Summertime is here and unfortunately I am sure we will be hearing more stories like this in the news. If you are fortunate enough to have a pool on your property consider erecting a childproof gate around it. I had one done at my home, cost me about $2-$3000. Even still accidents can happen, do what you can while you can to prevent them.


Good advice, maybe someone will follow it and it will make a difference. When this happened last summer, it reminded me of a similar incident in our neighborhood when I was a kid (so, about 30 years ago). A boy who lived down the block from me sneaked into someone's backyard to play in the pool, during the day while no one was home, and drowned. I'd guess he was probably between 7 and 10 years old. I'd basically forgotten the incident until Jia's accident reminded me of it. So, if you have kids, or a pool, or both, please do think hard about this issue.
"I would say that Prince's top thirty percent is great. Of that thirty percent, I'll bet the public has heard twenty percent of it." - Susan Rogers, "Hunting for Prince's Vault", BBC, 2015
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Reply #5 posted 05/13/05 2:41am

twin663

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My God... sigh

Eye didn't know that it happened over the phone..

Or that Jia said "I Love U, Daddy" 1 last time...

It's such a shame that 1 of the sweetest human beings ever, had 2 endure such pain...

My heart goes out 2 him, his family, and any1 else who has ever experienced something like this.
all eye can do, is just offer U my love...
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Reply #6 posted 05/13/05 6:12am

MidnightFunk

sad


I won't even pretend 2 know at all what that must have been like....that story rips my heart out.....God Bless the Blackwell's
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Reply #7 posted 05/13/05 6:18am

cloud9mission

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Such a sad story, God bless ya John
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Reply #8 posted 05/13/05 6:27am

Shorty

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MidnightFunk said:

sad


I won't even pretend 2 know at all what that must have been like....that story rips my heart out.....God Bless the Blackwell's


absolutely!! I couldn't endure it....
God bless the Blackwell's!
sad

I went to the Tribute to Jia at Berkley ...it was a moving experience, that I felt honored to attend.
[Edited 5/13/05 6:28am]
"not a fan" falloff yeah...ok
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Reply #9 posted 05/13/05 9:26am

twin663

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Eye just watched the video clip of this interview...lets just say eye can't ever watch it again. John starts 2 tear up in the interview...and just starts crying. Eye couldn't take C'ing him cry again.
all eye can do, is just offer U my love...
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Reply #10 posted 05/13/05 3:40pm

PleasurePrinci
ple

wow,omg...that is so sad-i dont know what 2 say...i was crying when he said she was in pool.im so sorry,my heart goes out 2 the blackwells sad
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Reply #11 posted 05/13/05 4:45pm

Mauve

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Shorty said:

MidnightFunk said:

sad


I won't even pretend 2 know at all what that must have been like....that story rips my heart out.....God Bless the Blackwell's


absolutely!! I couldn't endure it....
God bless the Blackwell's!
sad

I went to the Tribute to Jia at Berkley ...it was a moving experience, that I felt honored to attend.
[Edited 5/13/05 6:28am]



It was truely a great expirence wasnt it!
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Reply #12 posted 05/13/05 7:01pm

Question

GOD bless The Blackwell's .

She Gave Her Angel angel

question
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Reply #13 posted 05/13/05 8:28pm

queen627

Question doesn't anyone know what a gate around the pool would save thousands of small childrens lives. Okay tommy lee had a child drown at his house. now this. okay when will adults get it water is so appealing to children that think they can swim. I have sympathy. But if your going to have a pool protect the babies and put up a damn. gate. it might not look pretty but OJ Simpson lost a daughter the same way. you would think that someone would listen by now.
sorry if that was over your head...jump up and try to catch the point next time.
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Reply #14 posted 05/13/05 9:23pm

CandaceS

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queen627 said:

Question doesn't anyone know what a gate around the pool would save thousands of small childrens lives. Okay tommy lee had a child drown at his house. now this. okay when will adults get it water is so appealing to children that think they can swim. I have sympathy. But if your going to have a pool protect the babies and put up a damn. gate. it might not look pretty but OJ Simpson lost a daughter the same way. you would think that someone would listen by now.


My understanding is that the pool was fenced in and had a gate, but that Jia pulled over a chair or something and stood on that to unlatch the gate and get in. Don't have time to search for a link right now, could anyone else comment?
"I would say that Prince's top thirty percent is great. Of that thirty percent, I'll bet the public has heard twenty percent of it." - Susan Rogers, "Hunting for Prince's Vault", BBC, 2015
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Reply #15 posted 05/14/05 1:37am

Friend

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CandaceS said:

queen627 said:

Question doesn't anyone know what a gate around the pool would save thousands of small childrens lives. Okay tommy lee had a child drown at his house. now this. okay when will adults get it water is so appealing to children that think they can swim. I have sympathy. But if your going to have a pool protect the babies and put up a damn. gate. it might not look pretty but OJ Simpson lost a daughter the same way. you would think that someone would listen by now.


My understanding is that the pool was fenced in and had a gate, but that Jia pulled over a chair or something and stood on that to unlatch the gate and get in. Don't have time to search for a link right now, could anyone else comment?


yeah that's what happen.
*************************************************
"Did you mention sneakers?"
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Reply #16 posted 05/14/05 4:04am

andykeen

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I love this guy, God bless the Blackwell's

Keenmeister
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Reply #17 posted 05/14/05 4:59am

prettymansson

sad
really heartbreaking....i wonder if the friend was PRINCE ???
sounds like him 2 me...
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Reply #18 posted 05/14/05 11:05pm

FunkiestOne

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I don't know how many people can afford $2000 for a gate around their pool, but I suppose some can. Certainly it could have been avoided, in theory, but it's probably impossible to watch a little child 24 hours a day for years and years without losing track of them for a few seconds/minutes from time to time....unfortunately, it was terrible luck that this was the time that she got into the pool..very sad.
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Reply #19 posted 05/16/05 7:01pm

popgodazipa

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FunkiestOne said:

I don't know how many people can afford $2000 for a gate around their pool, but I suppose some can. Certainly it could have been avoided, in theory, but it's probably impossible to watch a little child 24 hours a day for years and years without losing track of them for a few seconds/minutes from time to time....unfortunately, it was terrible luck that this was the time that she got into the pool..very sad.


A gate is a deterrent. Kids are incredibly intelligent and have found ways around most obstacles put in the way of what they want.
1 over Jordan...the greatest since
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Reply #20 posted 05/17/05 11:57am

DBW

popgodazipa said:

Wow. Couldn't even finish reading that without my eyes welling up with tears. I was there in New Orleans and I promise you John did blaze those drums. Makes that performance and the entire tour that much more meaningful.

Summertime is here and unfortunately I am sure we will be hearing more stories like this in the news. If you are fortunate enough to have a pool on your property consider erecting a childproof gate around it. I had one done at my home, cost me about $2-$3000. Even still accidents can happen, do what you can while you can to prevent them.

lolI don't wish this on my worst enemy! I do however disagree with you on your statement about Hakeem Alijuwon. It's pretty hard to top Wilt Chamberlain!
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Forums > Associated artists & people > John Blackwell's first t.v interview since the death of his daughter Jia.