Taylor Hawkins, Foo Fighters drummer, dies aged 50

Taylor Hawkins
(Image credit: Rich Fury / Getty)

Taylor Hawkins, drummer for Foo Fighters, has died, the band has confirmed. No cause of death has been announced; early reports say the star was found unresponsive in his hotel room ahead of a scheduled festival appearance in Bogota, Colombia. 

I’ve worked hard, but this business can be tough, and I just consider myself incredibly lucky to have had the career that I have

Taylor Hawkins in 2014

"The Foo Fighters family is devastated by the tragic and untimely loss of our beloved Taylor Hawkins," the band said in a statement.

"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 unimaginable difficult time."

Taylor Hawkins joined Foo Fighters in 1997, after a successful stint in Alanis Morrisette's touring band. He made his recorded Foos debut on 1999's There Is Nothing Left to Lose, and quickly became central to the band's success, with writing credits on every subsequent album.

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Taylor Hawkins Nothing Left To Lose

(Image credit: Future)

5 key Taylor Hawkins albums

His own band, Taylor Hawkins And The Coattail Riders. released three albums. 2019's Get the Money, featured collaborations with a slew of star names including Dave Grohl, Roger Taylor, Joe Walsh, LeAnn Rimes, Nancy Wilson, Duff McKagan, Steve Jones and Chrissie Hynde.

Hawkins also released music as The Birds Of Satan, another all-star project and his “professional wedding band” Chevy Metal.

When we spoke to Hawkins in 2014 he reflected on his career to date. “Rather than feeling proud," he said then, "I always tend to attribute anything successful I’ve done to simply being in the right place at the right time but, on reaching this anniversary [of 20 years as a pro drummer], I did allow myself a moment to reflect on how amazing the whole journey has been...

"I’ve worked hard, but this business can be tough, and I just consider myself incredibly lucky to have had the career that I have, and to still be having so much fun playing drums and making music.”

On playing with Foo Fighters, the ever-modest star said "To be honest, I think the fact that I even get to play drums on Foo Fighters’ records is kind of astounding, considering one of the greatest drummers of all time is the lead singer of the band and could easily do it by himself!"

As the Rock World starts to process this shocking news, the tributes are starting to flow. Queen guitarist Brian May posted about "Our friend, our brother, our beloved child." and Tom Morello paid tribute to Hawkins' "unstoppable rock power", while Ozzy Osbourne said he "was truly a great person and an amazing musician".

Taylor Hawkins: stars pay tribute

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Will Groves

I'm lucky enough to be MusicRadar's Editor-in-chief while being, by some considerable distance, the least proficient musician on the editorial team. An undeniably ropey but occasionally enthusiastic drummer, I've worked on the world's greatest music making website in one capacity or another since its launch in 2007. I hope you enjoy the site - we do.