Taylor Hawkins, who drummed for Foo Fighters for two decades and helped the band make their way towards the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, died on Friday (March 25). News about his death was unveiled in a band announcement made shortly before the group was to play in Colombia. Hawkins was 50.
While Hawkins' official cause of death still remains unknown, a toxicology report has confirmed he had opioids, marijuana, and other psychoactive substances and medicines in his system at the time of death, according to the Attorney General of Colombia.
Bogotá municipal government also issued a statement Friday night confirming that the city’s emergency services received a call about a patient complaining of “chest pain,” the Associated Press reported. First responders “carried out resuscitation maneuvers" but were unable to revive him.
On Friday, the band was scheduled to perform in Bogotá for the Festival Estereo Picnic, followed by Lollapalooza Brasil on Sunday. Hawkins passed away in a hotel located in the city. Friday's performance was cancelled just as fans were gathering at 11pm, according to Romeo Reyes, who told CNN he traveled from El Salvador to Bogotá to attend the festival.
"We were getting into position when they announced that the Foo Fighters would not be performing, but they didn't say why. About 10 minutes later, the news broke that Taylor had died," Reyes 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," the band's statement read. "Our hearts go out to his wife, children and family, and we ask that their privacy be treated with the utmost respect in this unimaginable difficult time."
The Foo Fighters were formed in 1994 by Dave Grohl, who had been Nirvana's drummer. In 1997, as drummer William Goldsmith was departing, Texas-born Hawkins gave Grohl a call and joined the band - following his time as the touring drummer for Alanis Morissette during the Jagged Little Pill era.
"I wanted to be Roger Taylor and I wanted to be in Queen," Hawkins said during a 2014 60 Minutes interview with Anderson Cooper. "I wanted to play stadiums when I was 10 years old."
Seeing Queen for the first time in California at that age, he told Kerrang!, changed everything. His musical influences were Rush, The Police, Genesis, and Van Halen as he learned drumming, he told the magazine.
"It was such a good time to be influenced by drummers," he said. "I would steal stuff wholesale from Neil Peart licks, to Phil Collins and Alex Van Halen. Even the stuff that was on the radio, there was so much good music."
Hawkins' final performance was at Lollapalooza Argentina on March 20. News of his death prompted an outpouring of tributes from fans and fellow musicians, including Miley Cyrus, Travis Barker, Elton John, Ringo Starr, Rush, and many more. Foo Fighters have cancelled their remaining South American tour dates.
Hawkins is survived by his wife, Alison, as well as his three children: Oliver, Annabelle, and Everleigh.
See the Foo Fighters' official statement about Taylor Hawkins below.
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