Taylor Hawkins, drummer for the band Foo Fighters passed away on tour in Colombia over the weekend.
Rolling Stone’s Kat Bouza discusses Hawkins’ life, writing:
Taylor Hawkins, the jovial, ferocious drummer for Foo Fighters for more than two decades, died Friday at the age of 50. The band announced the musician’s death in a statement but did not reveal a cause.
“The Foo Fighters family is devastated by the tragic and untimely loss of our beloved Taylor Hawkins,” the group wrote. “His musical spirit and infectious laughter will live on with all of us forever.” Foo Fighters are currently on tour in South America and were scheduled to perform at Festival Estéreo Picnic in Bogotá, Colombia, at the time of Hawkins’ death, a rep for the band told Rolling Stone.
Bogota municipal government issued a statement Friday night confirming that the city’s emergency services received a call about a patient complaining of “chest pain,” the Associated Press reports. Ambulances were sent to the Four Seasons Casa Medina hotel, where the band was staying. Health workers “carried out resuscitation maneuvers” on Hawkins but “the patient was declared dead,” Bogotá’s Secretary of Health tweeted Saturday morning.
According to the Attorney General of Colombia, 10 substances were found in Hawkins, including antidepressants, benzodiazepines, and opioids. “The National Institute for Legal Medicine continues to conduct the necessary medical studies to ascertain the cause of death,” the office wrote in a tweet on Saturday. “The Attorney General’s office will continue to investigate and will duly inform the findings of forensic examinations in due time.”
As news of Hawkins’ death spread, numerous musicians and celebrities took to social media to honor the late drummer. “God bless you Taylor Hawkins. I loved your spirit and your unstoppable rock power,” wrote Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello, sharing a photo of himself and Hawkins alongside Jane’s Addiction’s Perry Farrell. Miley Cyrus, a noted Foo Fighters fan, shared a photograph of herself and Hawkins to her Instagram stories, writing, “This is how I’ll always remember you,” and added that her upcoming concert would be dedicated to him. Slash wrote that Hawkins’ death left him “devastated,” saying, “I’ve no words to express all the feelings I have about his passing.” Former Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy, Ozzy Osbourne and producer Steve Albini were among others who also shared tributes.
Born in Fort Worth, Texas, Hawkins relocated to Laguna Beach, California with his family in his early childhood. Following a stint with Canadian singer Sass Jordan in the early Nineties, Hawkins rose to prominence as the touring drummer for Alanis Morissette during the Jagged Little Pill era. “The second I heard ‘You Oughta Know,’ I was like, ‘I’m in that band!’” Hawkins told Rolling Stone last November. “I just knew.” Hawkins also appeared in the music videos for the singer’s hit singles “You Oughta Know” and “You Learn.”
After inter-studio conflict led to the departure of original Foo Fighters drummer William Goldsmith during recording sessions for the group’s breakthrough second album, The Colour and the Shape — forcing frontman Dave Grohl to handle drumming duties on the record — Hawkins officially joined the band at Grohl’s request in the spring of 1997.
Grohl would later refer to the drummer as his “best friend and partner in crime” in his 2021 autobiography, The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music. “During his stint as Alanis Morissette’s drummer, long before he became a Foo Fighter, we would bump into each other backstage at festivals all over the world, and our chemistry was so obvious that even Alanis herself once asked him, ‘What are you going to do when Dave asks you to be his drummer?’” Grohl wrote. “Part Beavis and Butthead, part Dumb and Dumber, we were a hyperactive blur of Parliament Lights and air drumming wherever we went.”
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