News of Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins’ sudden death shocked the music world Friday evening. The musician was found unresponsive in his hotel room at the Four Seasons Casa Medina in Bogota, Colombia prior to their set at the Picnic Stereo festival. He was 50 years old.
“The Foo Fighters family is devastated by the tragic and untimely loss of our beloved Taylor Hawkins,” reads a statement on the band’s social media sites. “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.”
As word of his passing spread, preliminary details surrounding the cause have started to emerge. According to the Office Of The Attorney General Of Colombia, a urine toxicological test found 10 different substances in Hawkins’ system, including THC (marijuana), antidepressants, benzodiazepine and opioids. The report stops short of calling the death an overdose.
According to Colombian authorities, a “cocaine-like” white powder, an empty beer can, an opened bottle of vodka, a Coca-Cola bottle and “some other articles” were found in Hawkins’ hotel room.
On Sunday, it was reported by Colombian news magazine Semana that Hawkins died of a cardiovascular collapse. Forensic experts found during their examination that his heart was enlarged, weighing twice what a normal male human heart is supposed to. Hawkins had complained of chest pains before paramedics arrived at the scene.
The investigation into Hawkins’ death is still ongoing.
Tributes have been pouring in from all corners of the music world. “God bless you Taylor Hawkins. I loved your spirit and your unstoppable rock power. Rest In Peace my friend,” wrote Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello on Twitter. Ozzy Osbourne called him “a great person and an amazing musician,” saying “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.” Wrote Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich on Twitter, “ Thank you Taylor. Thank you for always having the biggest, warmest smile on your face and for lighting up every room with your infectious energy and good vibes….Your phone call a week ago touched and inspired me, and I will always be appreciative for you championing our community as in your parting words…. ‘Drummers stick together!’ Damn right, brother. Except now the community is lesser without you.” Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker opined about the encouragement Hawkins gave him in the early days and then finally touring together and hanging out, concluding his statement, “To say I’ll miss you my friend isn’t enough.”
Miley Cyrus, who revealed that Hawkins was the first person she called when she touched down after her plane was struck by lightning earlier this week, dedicated her song “Angels Like You” to her friend during her set at Lollapalooza Brazil on Saturday. Foo Fighters were supposed to play the same festival on Sunday. A tribute to Hawkins was put together by the festival in their slot instead.
Billie Eilish and Finneas, Stevie Nicks, Sheila E, Ringo Starr, Brain Wilson, Joan Jett, Steven Tyler, Mick Jagger, Slipknot’s Jay Weinberg, Slash, Axl Rose, Kiss’ Paul Stanley, Styx, Leann Rimes, The Roots’ Questlove, Oasis’ Liam Gallagher, Elton John and Mammoth WVH, among many others, have also paid tribute to Hawkins.
Footage from Foo Fighters’ final performance with Hawkins at Lollapalooza Argentina has surfaced online. The set includes the band covering Queen’s “Somebody To Love” with Hawkins on vocals and Dave Grohl on drums.
Foo Fighters released their latest full-length album, Medicine At Midnight, in February 2021, as well as a Bee Gees cover EP, Hail Satin, in July 2021. Their comedy-horror film Studio 666 premiered in theaters and on-demand in February 2022.