Taylor Hawkins death: Foo Fighters drummer dies at 50

Outpouring of grief from rock world after musician dies in Colombian hotel

Stuti Mishra
Saturday 26 March 2022 22:28 GMT
Taylor Hawkins reflects on how he first learnt to play drums

Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins has died at the age of 50, the band has announced.

The musician was declared dead at a hotel in Colombia after paramedics battled to revive him following he was suffering with "chest pain".

The rock group, led by Dave Grohl, played in Argentina last Sunday and had been due to perform in Bogota on Friday night as part of their South American tour.

Hawkins’ death was announced late on Friday after the band cancelled the show due to a “a very serious medical situation”.

“The Foo Fighters family is devastated by the tragic and untimely loss of our beloved Taylor Hawkins,” the band said in a statement on Twitter.

“His musical spirit and infectious laughter will live on with all of us forever.”

The statement continued: “Our hearts go out to his wife, children and family, and we ask that their privacy be treated with the utmost respect in this unimaginably difficult time.”

Hawkins’ cause of death, which promoted an outpouring of grief and tributes in the music world, has not been announced.

Fans left flowers at the festival where the band had been scheduled to perform in Bogota, where the venue projected the words “Taylor Hawkins forever” and played the Foo Fighters song “My Hero”.

The city’s municipal government said emergency workers received a report of a patient with "chest pain" and sent an ambulance on Friday evening.

Paramedics attempted to revive Hawkins but there was no response and he was declared dead at his hotel in northern Bogota, the statement added.

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After Grohl, Hawkins was the most recognisable member of the Foo Fighters, appearing alongside the lead singer in interviews and playing prominent, often comic roles in the videos.

Hawkins was Alanis Morissette's touring drummer when he joined Foo Fighters in 1997.

In Grohl's 2021 book The Storyteller, the former Nirvana drummer called Hawkins his "brother from another mother, my best friend, a man for whom I would take a bullet”.

"Upon first meeting, our bond was immediate, and we grew closer with every day, every song, every note that we ever played together," Grohl wrote. "We are absolutely meant to be, and I am grateful that we found each other in this lifetime."

Tributes have been flowing in for the drummer, with musicians including Liam Gallagher and Ozzy Osbourne expressing their shock at his sudden death.

“In utter disbelief at the news of Taylor Hawkins,” wrote rock band Nickelback. “Our deepest condolences to his family, his bandmates, his team, his friends and everyone that was ever touched by the music he created with @foofighters @Alanis and so many others. This is so incredibly sad.”

Queen drummer Roger Taylor said he felt he was “losing a younger favourite brother”.

“He was a kind brilliant man and an inspirational mentor to my son Rufus and the best friend one could ever have. Devastated,” he said.

Queen guitarist Brian May, who had record solo work with Hawkins, said he was”heartbroken” and the drummer was”family to us”.

Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker said Hawkins had given him “so much hope and determination” early in their careers and recalled “the best memories” of their bands later touring together.

“To say I’ll miss you my friend isn’t enough,” he added.

Duran Duran star Roger Taylor said Hawkins was one of the last true "rock star drummers of our time."

"Whenever I saw Taylor play it always struck me that he embodied the spirit of punk, coupled with the amazing technique and ability,” he said.

Hawkins was born in Fort Worth, Texas in 1972 and had been a member of the band since 1997.

The Foo Fighters were among the acts scheduled to perform at the 2022 Grammy Awards on 3 April and had been set to begin a new tour of North America in May.

They had also been due to play Lollapalooza Brasil on Sunday), with fellow headliner Miley Cyrus saying that she would dedicate her show on Saturday to him.

Hawkins is survived by his wife Alison and their three children.

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