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Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins has died at the age of 50, the band has confirmed in a statement on Twitter, saying they are ‘devastated’ by the loss.
Paying tribute to the late musician, the group said: "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."
Foo Fighters are currently on tour in South America, and were due to headline Festival Estereo Picnic in Bogotá, Colombia, on the night of Friday 25 March. The festival confirmed on social media that the band had pulled out of the event due to Hawkins’ death, saying: “With a broken heart, we are here to let you know of very sad news due to a very serious medical situation the Foo Fighters cannot perform tonight and they have cancelled the rest of their South American tour.”
The band had been scheduled to play at Lollapalooza Brazil in São Paulo on 26 March, before heading home to the United States to continue the tour.
Born Oliver Taylor Hawkins in 1972, the drummer previously worked as a touring musician for the likes of Alanis Morissette and Sass Jordan, before joining Foo Fighters in 1997. In 2004, he also formed a rock group called Taylor Hawkins and the Coattail Riders – through which he released three studio albums – and the following year, he went on to be named Best Rock Drummer by Rhythm magazine.
In the wake of his death, members of the global music community have paid tribute to Hawkins, with Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker saying in an emotional Instagram post: “I don’t have the words. Sad to write this or to never see you again. I’ll never forget Laguna Beach days when I was a trash man playing in a punk rock band and you were playing with Alanis. You’d come watch me play in dive bars and be like, ‘kid you’re a star’.”
Recalling how Hawkins gave him ‘so much hope and determination’, Barker added: “Years later we toured together with Blink and Foo’s in Australia and I have the best memories of smoking cigarettes in the restroom of flights we were on together and watching your set every night. To say I’ll miss you my friend isn’t enough. Till the next time we talk drums and smoke in the boys room… Rest In Peace.”
Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello praised Hawkins’ ‘spirit and unstoppable rock power’, and Ozzy Osbourne said he was ‘truly a great person and an amazing musician’. Coldplay also dedicated the song ‘Everglow’ to Hawkins in a performance in Monterrey, Mexico, with frontman Chris Martins referring to the drummer as a ‘beautiful, beautiful man’, while Miley Cyrus announced that the next concert on her tour would be dedicated to Hawkins.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677
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