Taylor Hawkins, the longtime drummer for Seattle rockers Foo Fighters, has died. He was 50.
The band released an official statement late Friday via social media confirming his passing:
“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.”
Hawkins died amid the band’s South American tour, which included a Lollapalooza Chile appearance last week.
Colombia’s Prosecutor’s Office released a statement Saturday saying toxicological tests on urine from Hawkins’ body preliminarily found 10 psychoactive substances and medicines, including marijuana, opioids, tricyclic antidepressants and benzodiazepines. It did not provide a cause of death and investigations are continuing.
Foo Fighters had been scheduled to play at a festival in Bogota, Colombia, on Friday night. Hawkins’ final concert was Sunday at another festival in San Isidro, Argentina.
The Bogota municipal government issued a statement Saturday that the city’s emergency center had received a report of a patient with “chest pain” and sent an ambulance. A private ambulance arrived as well, it said.
Health workers tried to revive him, but were unable to do so. It said the cause of death was under investigation.
Police vehicles, an ambulance and fans were gathered outside the hotel in northern Bogota where Hawkins was believed to have been staying.
Born Oliver Taylor Hawkins in Fort Worth Texas in 1972, Hawkins was raised in Laguna Beach, California. He played in the small Southern California band Sylvia before landing his first major gig as a drummer for Canadian singer Sass Jordan. He then spent the mid-1990s as the touring drummer for Alanis Morissette before Grohl asked him to join the Foo Fighters in 1997, replacing original drummer William Goldsmith. He played on the band’s biggest albums including “One by One” and “On Your Honor,” and on hit singles including “My Hero” and “Best of You.”
Hawkins also starred in Foo Fighters’ recently released horror-comedy film, “Studio 666,” in which a demonic force in a house the band is staying in seizes Grohl and makes him murderous. Hawkins and other members of the band are killed off one by one. The film allowed the group, who for decades have been one of rock music’s most durable acts, to have fun while acting out a long-running joke.
The Foo Fighters most recently appeared in Chicago with a closing night headlining set at Lollapalooza in 2021. They headlined Wrigley Field in 2018.
The band is slated to perform at the Grammys next month, where they’ve been nominated for best rock album and best rock performance. Hawkins and his bandmates —Dave Grohl, Rami Jaffee, Nate Mendel, Chris Shiflett and Pat Smear —were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2021.
It’s the second time Grohl has experienced the death of a close bandmate. Grohl was the drummer for Nirvana when Kurt Cobain died in 1994.
Hawkins is survived by his wife Alison and their three children.
Contributing: Associated Press