The sudden death of Taylor Hawkins reverberated through the music world as rock stars, fellow drummers and those who called him a friend shared words of remembrance and tribute.
Common threads weren’t hard to find: Hawkins was a singular talent who was always laughing and valued for his kindness.
The drummer and singer for the Foo Fighters was 50 when he died before a scheduled concert in Bogotá, Colombia Friday.
“The Foo Fighters family is devastated by the tragic and untimely loss of our beloved Taylor Hawkins,” the band said in a statement shared on social media Friday night. “His musical spirit and infectious laughter will live on with all of us forever.”
Foo Fighters was set to play the Grammys April 3 in Las Vegas.
Just a few months ago, Hawkins, frontman Dave Grohl and their 12-time Grammy-winning band dominated the stage and were feted by friends and peers, including Paul McCartney, as Foo Fighters was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Grohl and Hawkins, who played Lollapalooza Argentina Sunday, were friends even before Hawkins joined the band in 1997.
As many fans noted after hearing of Hawkins’ death, nearly 28 years ago, Grohl lost another friend and musical collaborator. Kurt Cobain, the voice of Nirvana, died at just 27 years old, when Grohl was the drummer for the band.
This weekend, all of music offered condolences and memories of Hawkins.
Tom Morello, a guitarist and singer known for Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave and The Nightwatchman, shared a photo he took with Hawkins and Perry Farrell, the singer from Jane’s Addiction and Porno for Pyros who founded Lollapalooza in 1991.
“God bless you Taylor Hawkins,” tweeted Morello, 57. “I loved your spirit and your unstoppable rock power. Rest In Peace my friend.”
Morello’s sentiment was followed by a tribute from superstar drummer and singer Sheila E.
“I am devastated to hear the news of one of my favorite drummers Taylor Hawkins has passed,” she tweeted. “Blessings to the family and to the band. I’m so sorry for your loss. Taylor you will be missed!”
Roots drummer Questlove, 51, also shared his feelings about Hawkins early Saturday.
“I’m so sad about this man,” the multi-hyphenate entertainer said on Instagram. “Coolest dude ever. god bless & comfort his family, his bandmates, his friends & all his loved ones. Taylor Hawkins. Rest In Beats.”
Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers reacted to the unexpected nature of Hawkins’ death.
“I am shocked,” the bassist, 59, said on Instagram. “Bless his beautiful heart. Fly on Taylor.”
In England, Nandi Bushell remembered Hawkins, too.
The 11-year-old drummer had squared off with Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl in an Instagram drum battle before performing onstage with the band last year.
“Our love, thoughts and support are with all who knew Taylor,” Bushell tweeted. “Thank you for looking after me, thank you for being so kind and loving, thank you for being the most awesome drummer ever, thank you for bringing so much joy to the world, thank you for being you!”
Like so many, Slash, 56, the guitarist known for his work with Guns N’ Roses and Velvet Revolver, said he didn’t have the words to respond to Hawkins’ death, but did all the same.
“Devastated by the loss of our friend #TaylorHawkins I’ve no words to express all the feelings I have about his passing,” he said on Instagram. “But my heart goes out to his family. & his band & friends. RIP Taylor.”
Jill Vedder, wife of Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder, expressed frustration that Hawkins’ life ended at such a young age.
“He was stardust,” she said in an Instagram post. “He was golden. He was not meant to leave this earth.. not now …”
“He was more than this,” she continued. “He was a father .. husband .. I’m mad .. life is short … wasn’t supposed to be this short.”
The Smashing Pumpkins, another band that, like the Foo Fighters, rose to fame in the ’90s, remembering Hawkins Friday night.
“Our deepest sympathies to Taylor’s family, his fans, and of course his band,” they tweeted.
Ozzy Osbourne, a talent with an even longer history in rock, remembered Hawkins as “truly a great person and an amazing musician.”
“See you on the other side,” said the 73-year-old Prince of Darkness.
Another rockstar with great longevity in music shared his thoughts on Hawkins.
“No. It cannot be,” said Brian May, 74, the guitarist from Queen, a band that had a huge influence on a young Hawkins.
“Heartbroken,” May said. “Taylor, you were family to us. Our friend, our brother, our beloved child. Bless you. We will miss you so bad.”
Hawkins sang Queen’s “Somebody to Love” at his last concert with Foo Fighters, which was Lollapalooza Argentina March 20.
Wearing tiger-print pants, he led the vast audience in a Freddie Mercury-esque call and response before launching into the song.
Video contains some profanity.
“I’d be managing the drum department at a Guitar Center if it wasn’t for Dave Grohl,” Hawkins told the crowd as Grohl switched to the drums for his bandmate’s vocal performance.
Hawkins was noted for his kindness, both to those who came before him in music and those who came after.
“One of the nicest and most talented dudes in music,” said Patrick Carney, 41, the drummer from the Black Keys.
“So heartbroken to hear about Taylor Hawkins’ passing,” said Finneas O’Connell, 24, known as Finneas, singer-songwriter, producer and brother to Billie Eilish. “What an incredible talent, who didn’t also need to be so kind and generous and cool but was all those things too anyway. The world was so lucky to have his gifts for the time that it did.”
Hawkins was Alanis Morissette’s drummer before he joined Grohl in the Foo Fighters.
Guy Oseary, who was an A&R executive-turned-chairman at Maverick Records, met Hawkins when he was still with her band.
“The joy this man has brought with him everywhere he went is enormous,” Oseary, 49, said on Instagram.
“I met Taylor in 1995 with the Alanis jagged little pill ride of a lifetime.. from moment one Taylor had magic,” he said.
“He wasn’t just one of the greatest musicians in the world but also one of the greatest most positive and fun humans you could ever meet.. he was always laughing.. always!!! Im so fortunate that I was able to see him a few months back and get one last hug.. life is precious.. rest in peace my friend.”
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