Taylor Hawkins, the drummer for the American rock band Foo Fighters, has died at the age of 50, according to the band.
In a message on social media, the band said they were “devastated by the awful and untimely loss.” The reason of death has not been revealed.
Hawkins has been a member of Foo Fighters for for two decades, joining shortly after the band finished recording The Colour and the Shape in 1997.
The band is currently on a South American tour.
“His musical spirit and infectious laughter will live with us forever,” Foo Fighters wrote.
“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.”
After his previous band Nirvana disintegrated following the suicide of lead vocalist Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl formed Foo Fighters in 1994.
While Grohl was drumming for Nirvana, he joined Foo Fighters to take on lead vocals and guitar, and Hawkins had the daunting job of drumming in a band created by one of rock’s most recognized drummers.
“I was a little nervous at first, but I got over that,” he told OC Weekly soon after joining.
“Any instance where you’re auditioning for something, you’re going to be nervous. But no-one can play better than Dave Grohl. He just has this vision in his head.”
The two sometimes swapped roles during the band’s concerts, with Hawkins taking on vocals. After news of his death was announced many fans shared clips of him singing Queen’s Somebody to Love.
Before joining Foo Fighters, Hawkins drummed for Alanis Morissette.
While visiting London in 2001, he took an overdose of heroin and spent two weeks in a coma.
Speaking about the experience in 2018, he said it had been “a real changing point for me”.
The band had been due to perform on Friday night at the Estereo Picnic festival in Bogota, Colombia. The US embassy in Bogota expressed its “sincerest condolences” to the drummer’s family, friends and fans.
Beatriz De La Pava from BBC Minute was backstage at the festival when the announcement of Taylor Hawkins’ death was made to the crowd.
“While we were backstage, I saw the Foo Fighters team was packing up everything,” she said.
“The organisers of the festival arrived and then they all went on to the stage after Nile Rodgers had finished and said they had some very sad news to share.
“A message was then published on the big screens that Taylor had died and everyone was silent. A few of the other stages started playing My Hero by the Foo Fighters.
“They placed candles on the stage where the Foo Fighters were supposed to play. A lot of people were crying and some DJs who were supposed to play sets cancelled, although people just wanted more and more Foo Fighters music.”
Source: BBC News