Drummer for US band Foo Fighters, Taylor Hawkins, dies

Taylor Hawkins, the longtime drummer for the rock band Foo Fighters, has died. He was 50.

A statement on the band’s Twitter account posted at 4pm today, announced they were “devastated” by his death.

“The Foo Fighters family is devastated by the tragic and untimely loss of our beloved Taylor Hawkins. 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.”

No cause of death was given in the statement.

According to local media, Hawkins died in a Bogota hotel room ahead of a Foo Fighters performance. The band are on tour in South America. They played a festival in San Isidro, Argentina on Sunday and had been scheduled to play at another in Bogotá, Colombia on Friday night.

One of the most successful bands of the past 30 years, the Foo Fighters are led by singer Dave Grohl who formed the band in 1994 after the dissolution of the band Nirvana. Grohl had been the drummer for Nirvana.

After Grohl, Hawkins was probably the most prominent member of the group, appearing alongside Grohl in interviews and playing prominent roles in the band’s videos.

He also starred in Foo Fighters’ recently released horror-comedy film, “Studio 666,” in which a demonic force in a house the band is staying in seizes Grohl and makes him murderous.

Hawkins and other members of the band, Pat Smear, Rami Jaffee, Chris Shiflett, Nate Mendel, are killed off one by one. The film allowed the group, who for decades have been one of rock music’s most durable acts, to have fun while acting out a long-running joke.

The film’s premise came out of their work on their 10th studio album at a home in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley.

The Foo Fighters are scheduled to tour New Zealand later this year. They are set to play Wellington Regional Stadium on December 15 and Auckland’s Western Springs on December 17.

Fans of the band, as well as Taylor, flocked to the replies to show their support.

One user tweeted: “Terrible news. So sorry.”

Another wrote: “We are devastated by this. Our hearts go out to his family & Foo brothers.”

A third responded: “Is this real? What?”

Hawkins was Foo Fighters’ drummer for 25 of the band’s 28 years of existence, taking over for original drummer William Goldsmith in 1997.

Born Oliver Taylor Hawkins in Fort Worth Texas in 1972, Hawkins was raised in Laguna Beach, California. He played in the small Southern California band Sylvia before landing his first major gig as a drummer for Canadian singer Sass Jordan. He then spent the mid-1990s as the touring drummer for Alanis Morissette before Grohl asked him to join the Foo Fighters.

It’s the second time Grohl has experienced the death of a close bandmate. Grohl was the drummer for Nirvana when Kurt Cobain died in 1994.

Hawkins is survived by his wife Alison and their three children.

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