Taylor Hawkins, the longtime drummer for Foo Fighters, died in Colombia while the band was on a South American tour. He was 50. The band announced his death on Friday on social media but few details were released and it remained unclear when and where he died. “The Foo Fighters family is devastated by the tragic and untimely loss of our beloved Taylor Hawkins,” the band’s official account said in a statement posted on Twitter. “His musical spirit and infectious laughter will live on with all of us forever.”
Foo Fighters had been scheduled to play at a festival in Bogota, Colombia on Friday night. The festival released a statement confirming the band had pulled out of the three-day festival due to Hawkins’ death and had canceled the rest of its South American tour. After Colombia, Foo Fighters had been scheduled to head to another festival in Sao Paulo, Brazil before continuing on to a tour in the United States. He had recently played in Argentina and Chile.
Police cars and an ambulance gathered outside the hotel in Bogota where Hawkins was believed to have been staying. Lots of fans also went there to pay their respects. Police in Colombia confirmed Hawkins’ death but also released few details, only saying the cause of death was under investigation.
Local newspaper El Tiempo says a preliminary police report claims that people close to Hawkins say the death could be “associated with the consumption of narcotic substances.” The newspaper also says Hawkins asked for help after feeling chest pains and hotel staff immediately called emergency services. Once the ambulance arrived, Hawkins had already died. Hawkins, who suffered an overdose in 2001 that left him in a coma for two weeks, had openly talked about his drug use. “I used to do a lot of fucking drugs,” he said in an interview last year.
Hawkins joined Foo Fighters in 1997 after playing with Alanis Morissette and went on to become the band’s most recognizable member after frontman Dave Grohl. In a 2021 memoir, Grohl said Hawkins was his “best friend” and “a man for whom I would take a bullet.” Tributes to Hawkins immediately poured in on social media.