Taylor Hawkins on drums for the Foo Fighters

Taylor Hawkins, Dead At 50

Taylor Hawkins on drums for the Foo Fighters
Taylor Hawkins on drums for the Foo Fighters

Taylor Hawkins, the drummer for the Foo Fighters and rock ’n’ roll hall of famer, died unexpectedly on March 25, 2022, while on tour with the Foo Fighters in Columbia. He was 50 years old.

Emergency services were called to Hawkins hotel room on Mar. 25 due to Hawkins suffering from chest pains. Hawkins was declared dead on the scene after unsuccessful attempts at CPR. Although it was later revealed that Hawkins had 10 substances in his system at the time of death (including antidepressants, opioids, and cannabis), Colombian officials said they would keep working to make clear the events of the timeline of Hawkin’s death.

Hawkins was born in Fort Worth, Texas, on Feb. 17 and later moved to Laguna Beach, California. He started his drumming career as the drummer for the Orange County-based band Slyvia and went on to be the drummer for Alanis Morissette on her Jagged Little Pill tour and her Can’t Not tour. This was the first huge claim to fame for the 32-year-old drummer. Hawkins would also provide backing vocals for some of Morissette’s songs and appear in some of her music videos. He would call this time one of the most fun of his life.

Hawkins soon after became the drummer for Foo Fighters after conflicts between Dave Grohl and former drummer William Goldsmith emerged, leading to Goldsmith leaving the band. Grohl, who at that time wasn’t close with Hawkins, called him asking for recommendations for a new drummer for the band. Hawkins surprised Grohl by volunteering himself as the new drummer. Grohl didn’t ask Hawkins because he thought Hawkins wouldn’t leave Morissette and her touring band as they were bigger than the Foo Fighters at the time. Part of Hawkins’ reasoning was his willingness to play in a band rather than a solo act.

Hawkins debuted on the Foo’s “The Colour and the Shape” album, which included hits like “Everlong” and “My Hero.” He would go on to record eight more albums with the band. The band won 15 Grammys and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2021.

Hawkins not only drummed for the band but also provided vocals, guitar, and piano. On the final stretch of touring with the band, Hawkins performed a cover of Somebody To Love by Queen, including in his last show in the Bay Area region up in Sacramento. 

Hawkins was close with all of his Foo Fighters band members, especially Dave Grohl. Grohl described him in his 2021 memoir as “my brother from another mother, my best friend, a man who’d I take a bullet for.”

Hawkin’s death was announced suddenly that evening on the Foo Fighters’ social media platforms, stating, “his musical spirit and infectious laughter will live on with all of us forever.” The Foo Fighters canceled all of their upcoming shows and tours four days later. 

Miley Cyrus broke down in tears after dedicating her performance of “Angels Like You” to the drummer. Cyrus said, “I would have done anything to hang out with him.” Elton John also dedicated his performance of “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me” to Hawkins. John called Hawkins “one of the nicest people you could ever meet.

Hawkins is survived by his wife: Alison, and their three children: Oliver, Annabelle, and Everleigh. He is also survived by his siblings, Jason and Heather.

No public funeral service has been announced for Hawkins at this time.

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