Taylor Hawkins, Foo Fighters Drummer, Dies at 50

Taylor Hawkins, the musician best known for his tenure as the drummer of the Foo Fighters, has passed away at the age of 50. The new was announced in a social media post from the band on Friday night, which confirmed "the tragic and untimely loss" of Hawkins, and asked for fans to provide "the utmost respect in this unimaginably difficult time" to Hawkins' wife, children, and family. Rolling Stone confirms that the Foo Fighters are currently on tour in South America, and were preparing to perform at a festival in Bogota, Columbia. A cause of death has not yet been publicly revealed.

Born Oliver Taylor Hawkins in Fort Worth, Texas, on February 17, 1972, Hawkins grew up in Laguna Beach, California, where he first joined the bands Sylvia and Sass Jordan. Hawkins then left the band to be the drummer for Alanis Morissette, working on her Can't Not tour from 1995 to 1997, and appearing in a concert DVD and several music videos for the singer. While touring with Morissette, Hawkins was contacted by Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl, who was searching for a new drummer following the exit of William Goldsmith. While Grohl had reportedly just called Hawkins to get recommendations for a new drummer, Hawkins volunteered to join the band, and debuted with them live around the releasee of the album The Colour and the Shape.

Over the years, Hawkins co-wrote every album with the band since 1999's There Is Nothing Left to Lose, and also played piano, guitar, and sang on several songs and covers. He would go on to form a side project titled Taylor Hawkins and the Coattail Riders, which released three albums between 2006 and 2019, as well as The Birds of Satan, which released a self-titled album in 2014. He also release a solo EP called Kota in 2016.

"There's something in me that has to get this out of my system," Hawkins explained in a 2019 interview with MusicWeek. "I have to write songs, I have to make records. I guarantee you, if for some crazy reason Kurt Cobain wouldn't have died so early and Nirvana was still a band now, Dave would still be doing the same thing. There would be a Foo Fighters, it wouldn't be as popular because he'd be busy in Nirvana all the time, but he has to do it. He has to make Foo Fighters records. That's just what we do. In Foo Fighters, my job is to just play drums. And sort of along the lines of what the Grohlmeister wants, and he gives me room to move, but he knows what he wants, they're his songs, and obviously he knows how to play the drums, so he knows how the fucking drums should go. So, my role in that band is to fulfill his desires for the rhythm section of the band while he's up front doing what he does. That is enough for me in the Foo Fighters, I get to sing a little bit here and there and that's great! That's enough when I'm in the Foo Fighters. But when I get a moment outside the Foo Fighters, I have to get these songs out of me. I just like the creative process of writing songs, I like singing!"

Outside of the Foo Fighters, Hawkins worked on the Coheed and Cambria album Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Volume Two: No World for Tomorrow, as well as Slash's 2010 eponymous solo album. He also portrayed Iggy Pop in the 2013 rock biopic CBGB.

Hawkins is survived by his wife and three children.

Our thoughts are with Hawkins' family, friends, and fans at this time.

(Photo by Kevin Kane/Getty Images for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)