Taylor Hawkins, the rock band Foo Fighters’ veteran drummer, died at the age of 50, according to the band.
“The terrible and untimely passing of our dear Taylor Hawkins has crushed the Foo Fighters family,” the band’s official account wrote.
“His musical spirit and contagious laughter will live on forever in all of us.”
“Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, children, and family, and we ask that their privacy be respected at this impossibly painful time.”
The Foo Fighters are currently on tour in South America and were scheduled to perform at Festival Estereo Picnic in Bogotá, Colombia on Friday, March 25. Due to Hawkins’ death, the festival issued a statement on Facebook confirming the band’s withdrawal from the three-day event. “With a broken heart, we are writing to inform you of the extremely terrible news that the Foo Fighters will be unable to perform tonight and have cancelled the remainder of their South American tour due to a very serious medical problem.”
Following their performance in Colombia, Foo Fighters were slated to appear on March 26 at Lollapalooza Brasil in Sao Paulo before continuing their tour in the United States.
Hawkins, who took over from founding drummer William Goldsmith in 1997 and played for 25 of Foo Fighters’ 28 years of existence, has received a flood of tributes.
Hawkins, a Laguna Beach native, formerly worked as a touring drummer for Alanis Morissette and Sass Jordan before joining the Foo Fighters. In the experimental band Sylvia, he gained his first prominent job as a drummer
Musicians, friends, and fans expressed their astonishment at his abrupt death on social media.
Hawkins was undoubtedly the most visible member of the band after Foo Fighters founder and vocalist Dave Grohl, routinely appearing with Grohl in interviews and performing parts in the band’s videos.
He also appeared in Foo Fighters’ latest horror comedy film Studio 666, in which a demonic power seizes Grohl and turns him violent in a mansion where the band is staying.
Hawkins, as well as fellow band members Pat Smear, Rami Jaffee, Chris Shiflett, and Nate Mendel, are murdered out one by one in the film. The scenario for the film was inspired by their work on their tenth studio album in a mansion in the San Fernando Valley near Los Angeles.
When Kurt Cobain killed himself in 1994, Grohl was the drummer for Nirvana.
Tom Morello of Rage Against The Machine tweeted: “Taylor Hawkins, may God bless you. Your energy was contagious, and you had irresistible rock power. My buddy, may you rest in peace.”
Hawkins’ family and comrades also received condolences from former Beatles drummer Ringo Starr.
He expressed himself as follows: “Taylor, may God bless you. Peace and love to his entire family as well as the band.”
Gene Simmons of Kiss expressed his “shock and sadness,” while the Smashing Pumpkins tweeted their “deepest condolences to Taylor’s family, fans, and, of course, his band.”
On Twitter, Billy Idol posted a photo of Hawkins and commented, “So sad.”
Nickelback, a rock band from the United States, expressed “total astonishment” at the drummer’s death.
Hawkins told the Sydney Morning Herald last year that his mother motivated him to pursue music after taking him to see Queen in 1982, assuring her, “One day, I’ll play that stadium.”
“I don’t believe I slept for three days after the show,” he told rock weekly Kerrang.
“It changed everything, and I’ll never be the same again.” It was the beginning of my rock’n’roll infatuation.”
Hawkins is survived by his three children and wife, Alison.