Taylor Hawkins, the longtime drummer for alternative rock gods Foo Fighters, has died at the age of 50. No immediate cause of death was released.
While no cause of death has yet been revealed, the band confirmed the news in a short statement. “The Foo Fighters family is devastated by the tragic and untimely loss of Taylor Hawkins,” it read. “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.”
Hawkins began his career as a drummer for Alanis Morissette, with whom he toured in support of the singer’s blockbuster album Jagged Little Pill. Hawkins appeared in a number of Morissette’s videos and live performances before getting a call from Dave Grohl asking for recommendations to replace original Foo Fighters drummer William Goldsmith. Hawkins recommended himself, and he joined Foo Fighters in 1995 as the band embarked on their supporting tour for The Colour and the Shape.
Hawkins remained as the band’s drummer for the next 27 years. Starting on the 2005 album In Your Honor, Hawkins began taking on lead vocals within the band on the song ‘Cold Day in the Sun’. Hawkins was the band’s most prominent backing vocalist, and later gave his final lead vocal turn with the band on the 2017 Concrete and Gold track ‘Sunday Rain’.
In addition to his work in the Foo Fighters, Hawkins also engaged in activities outside the band, including his solo projects and his work with the cover band Chevy Metal, which influenced the Foo Fighters live show to incorporate cover songs and other interludes. Hawkins released his lone solo release, the EP Kota, in 2016. Hawkins also released three albums with his band, Taylor Hawkins and the Coattail Riders, and one album with his side project The Birds of Satan. Hawkins also provided the drum parts for Coheed and Cambria’s 2007 album Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV, Volume Two: No World for Tomorrow, as well as providing guest appearances on songs by Slash and Ozzy Osbourne.
Throughout his tenure with the Foo Fighters, Hawkins was often viewed as the right-hand man to Dave Grohl, often playing his foil in music videos, promotional appearances, and in the recent horror-comedy Studio 666. In 2012, Hawkins portrayed Iggy Pop in the film CBGB. Hawkins was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Foo Fighters in 2021.
Hawkins had previously struggled with drug addiction. In 2001, Hawkins suffered a drug overdose in London. Hawkins called the overdose “a real changing point” in his life. It is currently unclear whether drugs, alcohol or illicit substances played any part in Hawkins’ death.
See the official announcement of Hawkins’ death down below. Hawkins is survived by his wife Alison and three children, Oliver, Annabelle and Everleigh.