Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins dies at 50

Taylor Hawkins, the jovial and fierce drummer of the Foo Fighters for more than two decades, 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,” read the message, posted on social media. “His musical spirit and infectious laughter will live with us all forever.” The Foo Fighters are currently touring South America and were scheduled to perform at the Estéreo Picnic Festival in Bogotá, Colombia at the time of Hawkins’ death, a representative for the band said. rolling stone. No cause of death was given.

As news of Hawkins’ death spread, many musicians and celebrities took to social media to honor the late drummer. “God bless you Taylor Hawkins. I loved your wit and your unstoppable rock power,” Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello wrote, share a photo of himself and Hawkins alongside Perry Farrell of Jane’s Addiction. “Rest in peace my friend.” Miley Cyrus, a huge Foo Fighters fan, shared a photo of herself and Hawkins to her Instagram Stories, writing “This is how I will always remember you… My show tomorrow is dedicated to Taylor Hawkins.” Former Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy, Ozzy Osbourne, producer Steve Albini and Finnish musician also shared tributes to Hawkins.

Born in Fort Worth, Texas, Hawkins moved to Southern California with his family as a child. He first rose to prominence as Alanis Morissette’s touring drummer during the Little shredded pill time. “The second I heard ‘You Oughta Know,’ I was like, ‘I’m in this band! ‘” Hawkins said rolling stone last November. “I just knew.” Hawkins also appeared in music videos for the singer’s hit singles”You have to know” and “You learn.”

After a conflict between the studios led to the departure of original Foo Fighters drummer William Goldsmith during the recording sessions for the band’s breakthrough album, Color and shape — forcing frontman Dave Grohl to take over drumming – Hawkins officially joined the band in the spring of 1997.

Grohl would later refer to the drummer as his “best friend and partner in crime” in his 2021 autobiography, The storyteller: Tales of life and music. “During his time as Alanis Morissette’s drummer, long before he became a Foo Fighter, we met backstage at festivals around the world, and our chemistry was so evident that even Alanis herself told him. once asked, ‘What are you going to do when Dave asks you to be his drummer?’ “Wrote Grohl. “Part Beavis and Butthead, part Stupid and even dumber, we were a hyperactive blur of Parliament lights and air drums everywhere we went.

Throughout his career with Foo Fighters, Hawkins occasionally took on vocal duties, singing the band’s 2005 single “cold day in the sun” and “Sunday Rain” from 2017 concrete and gold. Hawkins has also frequently sung covers with the band, both for Foo Fighters B sides and during live performances – including a powerful rendition of Queen’s “Somebody to Love” during a January 2021 show for fully vaccinated fans in Los Angeles.

“He walked into a group that was pretty scrappy, usually, and kind of acclimated to that for a second, and then he was like, ‘Wait a second, what if we get good? ‘” Foo Fighters bassist Nate Mendel said. Hawkins in the recent group rolling stone cover story. “That was the Taylor thing, like, ‘Why don’t we learn to be better as a band and pay more attention to what we’re doing live?'”

Outside of his work with Foo Fighters, Hawkins has regularly collaborated with other musicians and bands – and even launched several side projects. In 2006, he embarked on a solo career with Taylor Hawkins and the Coattail Riders, reuniting with former Morissette touring mate and Jane’s Addiction bassist Chris Chaney. Hawkins would go on to release three albums under the Taylor Hawkins and the Coattail Riders banner, bringing in artists such as Queen’s Brian May and Roger Taylor, Elliot Easton of the Cars, Perry Farrell, as well as Grohl for collaborations. Hawkins also fronted cover band Chevy Metal with friends Wiley Hodgden and Mick Murphy, with the trio eventually releasing an album under the name Birds of Satan in 2014.

Most recently, Hawkins teamed up with Chaney and Dave Navarro for NHC — a supergroup formed during pandemic jam sessions at Hawkins’ home studio in Los Angeles. “NHC was the first time any of us were in a writing situation where we were just throwing the ball, Hawkins said. rolling stone Last year. “It’s like playing catch, literally. A writing session or a recording session for all three of us is playing baseball in a backyard. The band’s debut album is due out this year.

Hawkins is survived by his wife Alison and their three children.

Corina C. Butler