Taylor Hawkins, the exuberant, ferocious drummer of the Foo Fighters, has died. He was 50 years old. The band — which was scheduled to perform in Bogota, Colombia on Friday night — confirmed the news. No cause of death has been revealed at this time.
The band released the following statement;
“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.”
Before joining the Foo Fighters in 1997, Hawkins was the touring drummer for Alanis Morissette supporting her mega-smash album, Jagged Little Pill. A badass singer, he was also known as the frontman of a variety of side projects including the Birds of Satan, Chevy Metal — a cover band that played lesser-known cuts by ZZ Top, Deep Purple, Van Halen, Black Sabbath and others — and, most recently, NHC, a supergroup with Jane’s Addiction’s Dave Navarro and Chris Chaney.
In addition, Hawkins lent his talents as a session musician to everyone from Coheed and Cambria (he recorded the drum tracks for 2007’s Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV, Volume Two: No World for Tomorrow and briefly toured with the group) to Slash (he provided backing vocals on the 2010 song “Crucify the Dead,” featuring Ozzy Osbourne).
News of Hawkins’ death was met with shock and sadness from his friends and peers in the rock world. “I’ve always had so much admiration for him,” former Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy wrote on Twitter. “Amazing drummer & a gem of a guy who was always fun to be around. I’m absolutely gutted…” Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello posted, “God bless you Taylor Hawkins. I loved your spirit and your unstoppable rock power. Rest In Peace my friend.” — Staff