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Fans and musicians pay tribute to Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins

From Ringo Starr to Miley Cyrus, celebs respond to the 50-year-old’s death.

Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins onstage at the Lollapalooza 2022 music festival this past week in Santiago, Chile. (Javier Torres/AFP/Getty Images)

Fans and musicians around the world responded to the death of Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins with an outpouring of shock, admiration and grief. Brian May of Queen posted in disbelief on Instagram: “No. It cannot be. Heartbroken. Taylor, you were family to us. Our friend, our brother, our beloved child. Bless you. We will miss you so bad.”

Taylor Hawkins, Foo Fighters drummer, dies at 50

The 50-year-old Hawkins — who since 1997 had been the steady heartbeat of the multi-Grammy-winning band, inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame last year — died suddenly Friday in Bogotá, Colombia, where the Foo Fighters were scheduled to perform later that night. He was honored on social media as the “epitome of the modern day rock star” and a “family man.” The band announced Hawkins’s death via a statement on social media, writing: “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.” A cause of death was not announced.

Tributes came from rock musicians across generations: from younger fans such as Miley Cyrus and a 9-year-old drummer from Paraguay, who had met Hawkins at a show just days before his death, as well as from Mick Jagger and Ringo Starr, who remembered Hawkins as a spirited performer, a kind person and a stellar musician. Concertgoers in Bogotá for the band’s Friday performance found themselves instead united by collective mourning.

Cyrus, who was scheduled to perform in Brazil on Saturday as part of the multi-city Lollapalooza festival, announced that her set would be dedicated to Hawkins. In a story posted on Instagram, Cyrus recalled dancing around Hawkins’s drum kit while he played along to “Brass in Pocket” by the Pretenders. “Love forever,” she wrote.

Tony Iommi, leader of Black Sabbath, tweeted, “I woke up this morning to hear the awful news of Taylor Hawkins death. What a terrible loss to us all. He was such a lovely guy and such a brilliant player.”

Liam Gallagher of Oasis posted that he was “absolutely devastated.” Axl Rose, frontman of Guns N’ Roses, wrote that he was “Shocked n’ saddened to hear of the passing,” calling Hawkins “a really great guy, drummer n’ family man.”

Many noted Hawkins’s character and energy. Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine tweeted a photo of himself and Hawkins with Jane’s Addiction’s Perry Farrell, writing: “God bless you Taylor Hawkins. I loved your spirit and your unstoppable rock power.” Singer Ozzy Osbourne called Hawkins, a “great person and amazing musician.”

The band Def Leppard posted a statement on Twitter from guitarist Rick Savage, who wrote that Hawkins was “the epitome of the modern day rock star & inspiration to kids everywhere, including this rather old one.”

Some of music’s top stars made tributes to tributes to Foo Fighters’ drummer Taylor Hawkins March 26, as fans in Colombia gathered at the hotel where he died. (Video: Reuters)

Fans shared recent footage of Hawkins performing, including a video in Argentina earlier in the week. Hawkins’s final performance was on March 22, at the Lollapalooza festival in Buenos Aires.

Taylor Hawkins understood rock-and-roll as a joyful noise

Hawkins joined Foo Fighters three years after Dave Grohl formed the band. In Grohl’s 2021 autobiography, “The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music,” the former Nirvana drummer called Hawkins his “best friend and partner in crime.” In a 2014 “60 Minutes” interview, Grohl praised his drummer’s technical skills, saying, “I don’t necessarily miss being the drummer — because I have the greatest drummer in the world.”

After news of Hawkins’s death broke, the Bogotá concert hall where the band had been scheduled to appear placed candles on the stage, illuminating screens around the venue with the words, “Taylor Hawkins por siempre,” or “Taylor Hawkins forever.”

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