Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins has died at the age of 50, according to a statement from the band.
“The Foo Fighters family is devastated by the tragic and untimely loss of our beloved Taylor Hawkins,” a statement from the band posted online reads. “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”.
Currently on tour in South America, the band were due to perform at Festival Estéreo Picnic in Bogotá, Colombia at the time of Hawkins’ passing. No cause of death has been given.
Born in Dallas, Texas, on 17th February 1972, Hawkins initially rose to prominence playing drums for Alanis Morissette on her ‘Jagged Little Pill’ and ‘Can’t Not’ tours, before officially joining Foo Fighters in the spring of 1997 as a replacement for original drummer William Goldsmith.
Occasionally taking vocal duties in the band – notably on 2005’s ‘Cold Day In The Sun’ and 2017’s ‘Sunday Rain’, he’d also regularly take the mic for b-sides and live covers, allowing frontman Dave Grohl to get back behind the drumkit. He also recently starred alongside the rest of the band in Foo Fighters’ horror-comedy Studio 666, released last month.
Outside of the band, he was involved in several other projects, including Taylor Hawkins and the Coattail Riders, cover band Chevy Metal – who eventually released an album under the name Birds of Satan in 2014 – and NHC alongside Chris Chaney and Dave Navarro, who recently released an EP, ‘Intakes & Outtakes’, and have a debut album set for release later this year.
Hawkins is survived by his wife Alison and their three children.
Tributes have started to appear online from friends and peers. Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello writes: “God bless you Taylor Hawkins. I loved your spirit and your unstoppable rock power. Rest In Peace, my friend.” Meanwhile, Steve Albini shares: “Taylor Hawkins was a terrific drummer with a gorgeous disposition, seemed always to be having the time of his life. I didn’t know him well but I know music is lessened by his passing, made duller and smaller. Requiescat.”