Taylor Hawkins, the longtime drummer for the Foo Fighters, has died at the age of 50, according to an official statement from the band.
Born in Fort Worth, TX in 1972, Hawkins relocated to Southern California as a child, where he grew up idolizing such drummers as Queen’s Roger Taylor, Phil Collins, Neil Peart of Rush, and Budgie, of Siouxsie and the Banshees. Prior to joining the Foo Fighters, Hawkins played drums for Sass Jordan and joined Alanis Morissette on her Jagged Little Pill tour. He joined the Foo Fighters in 1997, first appearing on their 1999 album, There Is Nothing to Lose.
Over the next two decades, he would record a total of eight studio albums with the band, including 2011’s Wasting Light, 2017’s Concrete and Gold, and, most recently, 2021’s Medicine at Midnight. He also appeared with his bandmates in their comedy-horror film, Studio 666, which premiered in February.
“The Foo Fighters family is devastated by the tragic and untimely loss of our beloved Taylor Hawkins,” the band shared in a statement. “His musical spirit and infectious laughter will live on with all of us forever. 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.”
With the Foo Fighters, Hawkins earned multiple Grammy and BRIT Awards, among countless other honors. Last year, alongside the Foo Fighters, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Paul McCartney. The band, which was in Bogotá, Colombia at the time of Hawkins’ death and due to headline the Festival Estereo Picnic last night (25), were also scheduled to perform at Lollapalooza Brasil in São Paulo tonight and at the 64th annual Grammy Awards on April 3.
“With a broken heart,” they also wrote, “we are here to let you know of very sad news due to a very serious medical situation the Foo Fighters cannot perform tonight and they have cancelled the rest of their South American tour.” Hawkins leaves behind his wife, Alison, and their three children, Annabelle, Everleigh, and Oliver Shane.
Emotional tributes to Hawkins have arrived from across the music world. Ozzy Osbourne called him “truly a great person and an amazing musician,” while Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello wrote: “I loved your spirit and your unstoppable rock power. Rest In Peace my friend.” Nile Rodgers, in Bogotá for the same Festival Estereo Picnic, added: “Thank you people of #Bogota @Festereopicnic_ for the love tonight. We had to play from our hearts for @foofighters & #RIPTaylorHawkins. They’re one of the best bands around. We love them and all of you. Thanks for helping us get through a tough night.”