Hawkins, 50 – who since 1997 had been the regular heartbeat of the multi-Grammy Award-winning band, inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame last year – died suddenly on Friday in Bogotá, Colombia, where the Foo Fighters were scheduled to perform later that night. He was honored on social media as “the embodiment of the modern day rock star” and one “family man.” The band announced Hawkins’ death via a social media statement, writing: “The Foo Fighters family is devastated by the tragic and untimely loss of our beloved Taylor Hawkins. His musical spirit and contagious laughter will live with us all forever. A cause of death has not been announced.
Tributes have come from rock musicians across generations: young fans like Miley Cyrus and a 9-year-old drummer from Paraguay, who had met Hawkins at a show a few days before his death, as well as Mick Jagger and Ringo Star, who remembered Hawkins as a fiery performer, a kind person and a stellar musician. Spectators in Bogotá for the band’s performance on Friday instead found themselves united in collective mourning.
Cyrus, who was scheduled to perform in Brazil on Saturday as part of the multi-city Lollapalooza festival, announced that her set will be dedicated to Hawkins. In a story posted on Instagram, Cyrus recalled dancing around Hawkins’ drums while playing along to “Brass in Pocket” by The Pretenders. “Love forever,” she wrote.
Tony Iommi, leader of Black Sabbath, tweeted“I woke up this morning to hear the terrible news that Taylor Hawkins had passed away. What a terrible loss for all of us. He was such a lovely guy and such a brilliant player.
I woke up this morning to hear the terrible news of Taylor Hawkins’ death. What a terrible loss for all of us. He was such a lovely guy and such a brilliant player. ⁰ My deepest condolences go out to his family, his band and his fans. He will be greatly missed by Rest In Peace Taylor. -Tony pic.twitter.com/MSYRMzDy8c
— Tony Iommi (@tonyiommi) March 26, 2022
Liam Gallagher of Oasis job that he was “absolutely devastated”. Axl Rose, leader of Guns N’ Roses, wrote that he was “shocked and saddened to hear of the passing”, calling Hawkins “truly a great guy, drummer and family man”.
Many noted Hawkins’ character and energy. Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine tweeted a photo of himself and Hawkins with Perry Farrell of Jane’s Addiction, writing, “God bless you Taylor Hawkins. I loved your spirit and your unstoppable rock power. Singer Ozzy Osbourne called Hawkinsa “great person and an incredible musician”.
Def Leppard Group released a statement on Twitter from guitarist Rick Savage, who wrote that Hawkins was “the epitome of the modern rock star and inspiration to kids everywhere, including this rather ancient one”.
Fans shared recent footage of Hawkins performing, including a video in Argentina earlier in the week. Hawkins’ last performance was on March 22 at the Lollapalooza festival in Buenos Aires.
Hawkins joined Foo Fighters three years after Dave Grohl formed the band. In Grohl’s 2021 autobiography, “The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music,” the former Nirvana drummer called Hawkins “a best friend and partner in crime.” In a 2014 “60 Minutes” interview, Grohl praised his drummer’s technical skills, saying, “I don’t necessarily miss being the drummer, because I have the greatest drummer in the world.
After news of Hawkins’ death was announced, the Bogotá concert hall where the band was to appear placed candles on the stage, illuminating screens around the venue with the words “Taylor Hawkins por siempre” or “Taylor Hawkins for always”.