Taylor Hawkins, longtime drummer for the Foo Fighters, has died. He was 50.
The band’s representative, Steve Martin, confirmed the news Friday to The Hollywood Reporter, and his passing was announced on the band’s Twitter account. A cause of death was not immediately available.
“The Foo Fighters family is devastated by the tragic and untimely loss of our beloved Taylor Hawkins,” the message read. “His musical spirit and infectious laughter will live on with us forever.”
The band had been in South America on tour and was scheduled to perform Friday in Bogotá, Colombia. They were also scheduled to perform at the 2022 Grammy Awards on April 3. Born Feb. 17, 1972, in Fort Worth, Texas, Hawkins was the touring drummer for Alanis Morissette from 1995 to 1997, including concerts supporting her legendary album Jagged Little Pill.
In March 1997, Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl announced Hawkins as the band’s permanent drummer ahead of the May release of The Colour and the Shape, replacing William Goldsmith. It remains the band’s best-selling album and includes their signature hit “Everlong.”
During a 2021 interview with Kerrang, Hawkins recalled learning that the band was in the market for a new drummer, leading him to scramble to somehow find Grohl’s phone number. “I basically said to Dave, ‘I’ll play drums for you,’ and we jammed a couple of times,” Hawkins said. “I remember I was at home watching Showgirls with my girlfriend, and Dave called to ask if I wanted to join.”
Although he didn’t drum on Colour and the Shape, Hawkins was part of the band throughout its run of albums — including There Is Nothing Left to Lose (1999), One by One (2002), In Your Honor (2005), Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace (2007) and Wasting Light (2011) — that helped make the Foos one of the defining rock voices of the 2000s.
The drummer, who celebrated his 50th birthday last month, was with the group for all 12 of its Grammy wins, including the most recent in 2018 for the song “Run,” and its Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 2021. He enjoyed a close friendship with Grohl, and the pair would often make joyful television appearances together, in addition to starring together in the band’s whimsical music videos, including for “Learn to Fly,” featuring Hawkins in drag as a flight attendant.