Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins died Friday, the band announced. He was 50 years old.
“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,” the band said in a statement. “Our hearts go out to his wife, children and family, and we ask that their privacy be treated with the utmost respect in this unimaginable difficult time.”
The cause of death has not been disclosed. According to its website, the band is scheduled to perform in Bogotá, Colombia, on Friday for the Festival Estereo Picnic, followed by Lollapalooza Brasil on Sunday.
According to Romeo Reyes, who said he traveled from El Salvador to Bogotá to attend the festival, the performance was canceled at 11 p.m.
“We were getting into position when they announced that the Foo Fighters would not be performing, but they didn’t say why. About 10 minutes later, the news broke that Taylor had died,” Reyes said.
“No one knew the reason for the cancellation. … We were all sad. But like I said, nobody knew that Taylor had died. We found out about 10-15 minutes later,” he said.
Later, candles were placed on the main stage to commemorate Hawkins, and five screens projected “Taylor Hawkins Por Siempre,” which means “Taylor Hawkins Forever.”
Remembrances of Foo Fighters Hawkins
Foo Fighters were formed in 1994 by Dave Grohl, who had been Nirvana’s drummer.
After being a drummer with Alanis Morissette’s band for three years, Texas-born Hawkins joined the band.
In an interview with Anderson Cooper for “60 Minutes” in 2014, Grohl discussed Hawkins’ impact on the band.
“When you have a drummer like Taylor Hawkins in your band, I don’t necessarily miss being the drummer — because I have the greatest drummer in the world,” Grohl said. “Taylor is a much more technically minded drummer than I am.”
During the same interview, Hawkins acknowledged that it took him a while to find his place in the band, but that Grohl “never made it hard.”
His first musical love was the British band Queen.
“I wanted to be Roger Taylor and I wanted to be in Queen,” Hawkins said. “I wanted to play stadiums when I was 10 years old.”
This is the band’s first year of eligibility for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
His death prompted an outpouring of sorrow on social media from fans and fellow musicians.
“God bless you Taylor Hawkins. I loved your spirit and your unstoppable rock power. Rest In Peace my friend,” Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello wrote in a Twitter post.
Miley Cyrus, who is scheduled to perform at Lollapalooza Brasil on Saturday, said on Instagram that she would dedicate the performance to Hawkins.
She also shared a photo of Hawkins playing the drums, captioning it, “This is how I’ll always remember you.”
Ringo Starr tweeted: “God bless Taylor peace and love to all his family and the band peace and love.”
And singer Ozzy Osbourne spoke on Hawkins’ character, saying he was “was truly a great person and an amazing musician.”
“My heart, my love and my condolences go out to his wife, his children, his family, his band and his fans. See you on the other side,” Osbourne wrote on Twitter.