Taylor Hawkins, known for his 25-year tenure as drummer for Foo Fighters, has died. He was 50 years old.
The rockers confirmed Hawkins' sudden passing Friday (March 25) from Bogota, Colombia, where they were in the middle of a South American tour. No cause of death was given at the time. "The Foo Fighters family is devastated by the tragic and untimely loss of our beloved Taylor Hawkins," a band statement read in part. "His musical spirit and infectious laughter will live with us forever."
In the unenviable position of matching former Nirvana drummer/Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl's powerful rhythms - Grohl recorded all the drums on their 1995 self-titled debut and 1997's The Colour and the Shape - Hawkins proved a powerful member of the project as it further transitioned into a full band. Hawkins joined the Foos as a touring drummer in 1997 and made his studio debut on 1999's There is Nothing Left to Lose and all subsequent releases.
Inspired by a diverse array of rock drummers - chiefly Queen's Roger Taylor and Stewart Copeland of The Police - Oliver Taylor Hawkins was 22 when he secured his first major rock and roll gig as the drummer for Canadian singer-songwriter Sass Jordan. From there, he secured an even bigger gig: serving as the drummer for Alanis Morissette as she toured in support of the multiplatinum Jagged Little Pill. While on tour, Grohl approached him for suggestions as to whom should provide rhythm for the Foo Fighters. Grohl was surprised when Hawkins jumped at the chance, hoping to join a rock band.
In addition to the Foos - who, in the past year, were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, released their tenth album Medicine At Midnight and starred in the horror/comedy Studio 666 - Hawkins recorded three albums with side project The Coattail Riders and also recorded drums for one album by prog outfit Coheed and Cambria, 2007's Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Volume Two: No World for Tomorrow.
Hawkins is survived by his wife, Alison, and three children.