Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins died Friday in Bogotá, Colombia while the acclaimed rock band was on tour in South America. He was 50. “The Foo Fighters family is devastated by the tragic and untimely loss of our beloved Taylor Hawkins,” the Foo Fighters wrote in an Instagram statement announcing the news. “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.” Per CNN, Colombia’s Attorney General’s Office has released a preliminary “forensic medical study” following Hawkins’ death. 10 substances were found in Hawkins’ system by a urine toxicology test, including THC, tricyclic antidepressants, benzodiazepines, and opioids. The investigation is ongoing.
On the night of his death, Hawkins was scheduled to perform with the Foo Fighters. According to a press release, local health officials sent an ambulance to Hawkins’ hotel after a guest complained of chest pains. “However, there was no response, and the patient was declared deceased,” the statement read. The band was also set to headline at Lollapalooza Brazil on Sunday.
Oliver Taylor Hawkins was born in Texas in 1972, but grew up in California, where he eventually began his music career in the 1990s. After drumming for the experimental band Sylvia and for rock singer Sass Jordan, he joined Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill tour in 1995. He appeared in multiple of Morissette’s music videos and toured with her again. When drummer William Goldsmith left the Foo Fighters, front man Dave Grohl reached out to ask Hawkins to recommend a replacement. Hawkins himself volunteered and officially became a member of the rock band in March 1997.
A versatile musician, Hawkins garnered vocal, guitar, and piano credits on multiple Foo Fighters songs. Notably, he provided lead vocals for “Cold Day in the Sun,” a song he wrote that became a fan favorite on live tours. In 2004, he founded a rock band of his own called Taylor Hawkins and the Coattail Riders. The side project would go on to record three studio albums, which he supplied drums and vocals for. Other musical endeavors over the course of Hawkins’s career included a cover band called Chevy Metal and another side project called the Birds of Satan. In 2021, he and Dave Navarro coined the term “yacht goth” to describe the sound of their new supergroup, NHC. That same year, Hawkins was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a Foo Fighters member. The drummer is survived by his wife, Alison, and their three children.
This post has been updated throughout.