Entertainment

‘Huge loss for music' as Foo Fighters' Taylor Hawkins dies at 50

The drummer played in the band for more than two decades.

Taylor Hawkins, drummer of rock group Foo Fighters, has been remembered by titans of the music industry as being a “kind brilliant man” and an “amazing musician” following his death.

The 50-year-old was playing on the South American leg of the band’s world tour when his sudden death was announced on Saturday.

The band said it was “devastated by the untimely loss” and asked for the privacy of his family to be respected.

In a statement, the Bogota municipal government said the city’s emergency centre received a report of a patient with “chest pain” and sent an ambulance on Friday evening.

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

Tributes have been pouring in from music industry heavyweights, describing the news as “heart breaking”.

Queen drummer Roger Taylor compared Hawkins death to “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.

Meanwhile Queen guitarist Brian May said: “No. It cannot be. Heartbroken. Taylor, you were family to us.

“Our friend, our brother, our beloved child. Bless you. We will miss you so bad.”

Hawkins will appear on May’s remastered second solo album, Another World Revisited, released on April 22 this year.

Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker remembered the days when Hawkins played with Alanis Morissette before moving to the Foo Fighters, adding that he was “sad” he would never see him again.

“I’ll never forget Laguna Beach days when I was a trash man playing in a punk rock band and you were playing with Alanis.

“You’d come watch me play in dive bars and be like, ‘kid you’re a star’.

“And I thought you were crazy but you gave me so much hope and determination.

“Years later we toured together with Blink and Foos in Australia and I have the best memories of smoking cigarettes in the restroom of flights we were on together and watching your set every night.

“To say I’ll miss you my friend isn’t enough. Till the next time we talk drums and smoke in the boys room.”

Guns N’ Roses lead singer Axl Rose said Hawkins was a “really great guy, drummer n’ family man”.

“Was always great to see him! Was looking forward to seeing him n’ everyone in Daytona.

“Truly saddened. My deepest condolences to his family, the Foo Fighters n’their fans,” he added.

Rolling Stones singer Sir Mick Jagger also paid tribute, saying on Twitter: “So incredibly sad to hear of the passing of Taylor Hawkins. My thoughts are with his family and the band at this time.”

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

He added: “Greatly saddened to hear about the passing of Taylor Hawkins. Whenever I saw Taylor play it always struck me that he embodied the spirit of punk, coupled with the amazing technique and ability.

“I was truly honoured what I heard that you were in the audience at our last show in Vegas. The Californian surf will miss you too Taylor.”

Meanwhile, Liam Gallagher, former frontman of rock band Oasis said he was “devastated to hear the sad news” alongside rock band Biffy Clyro who tweeted their condolences.

Ozzy Osbourne, who rose to fame in rock band Black Sabbath, praised Taylor Hawkins as a “great person and an amazing musician,” and promised to “see him on the other side.”

“My heart, my love and my condolences go out to his wife, his children, his family, his band and his fans.”

Meanwhile guitarist Tony Iommi, of heavy metal band Black Sabbath, said the death of Hawkins was a “terrible loss”.

He added: “I woke up this morning to hear the awful news of Taylor Hawkins death. He was such a lovely guy and such a brilliant player.

“My deepest condolences go out to his family, his band and his fans. He will be sadly missed Rest In Peace Taylor.”

Sharing a picture of Hawkins online, musician Billy Idol added: “So tragic. Rest in peace Taylor.”

Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello said: “I loved your spirit and your unstoppable rock power. Rest In Peace my friend.”

Meanwhile fellow drummer from the Vamps Tristan Evans said it was a “sad day for drummers.”

He added: “I remember watching Taylor for the first time and being fixated with his talent and showmanship, it was an experience I’ll never forget.”

Guitarist of rock band Green Day, Billie Joe Armstrong added that he was “shocked and devastated.”

In a post on Instagram, he wrote: “To Taylor Hawkins family and the Foo Fighters family. Our hearts are with you. Always.”

Imagine Dragons lead singer Dan Reynolds said the shock news was “incredibly heart-breaking.”

He added: “One of the very best to do it. He seemed to always be smiling that big beautiful smile.”

Bridesmaids and Ghostbusters actor Paul Feig also shared a tribute on Twitter, writing: “He was on par with Bonham and Moon and was so much of what made the Foo Fighters the world’s greatest rock band.

“This is such a huge loss for music. Sending so much love to his family and the band. Damn.”

Hawkins, 50, played in the Foos with former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl on vocal for more than two decades, alongside Nate Mendel, Pat Smear, Chris Shiflett and Rami Jaffee.

In a tweet from their Foo Fighters official account, they said: “The Foo Fighters family is devastated by the tragic and untimely loss of our beloved Taylor Hawkins.

“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.”

At the time of his death, Foo Fighters were on tour in South America.

The band had played in San Isidro, Argentina, last Sunday and were due to perform in Bogota, Colombia, on Friday night, the day his death was announced.

Colombia Obit Foo Fighters
Fans of US band Foo Fighters place lights in front of the hotel where the band’s drummer Taylor Hawkins was found dead in Bogota, Colombia (Leonardo Munoz/AP)

Pictures on social media showed fans gathering in front of the stage at the Estereo Picnic festival, with lit candles being placed on stage and outside a hotel in northern Bogota where it was believed Hawkins had been staying.

The band were scheduled to perform at the Grammys on April 3 and were due to begin a new tour of North America in May.

Hawkins joined Foo Fighters in 1997 following the departure of the band’s previous drummer William Goldsmith.

Taylor Hawkins death
Foo Fighters Nate Mendel, Pat Smear, Taylor Hawkins, Dave Grohl and Chris Shiflett at the MTV Movie Awards 2011 (PA)

He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with them in 2021 by Sir Paul McCartney.

Following the release of their most recent album, Medicine At Midnight, the band filmed a spoof-horror film titled Studio 666, in which Hawkins starred alongside his bandmates.

Prior to joining Foo Fighters he had played drums for Alanis Morissette.

Hawkins was born in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1972 and raised in Laguna Beach, California.

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

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