Taylor Hawkins has died at 50 years old, as confirmed by the band’s rep to Variety. His cause of death is currently unknown but his passing was undeniably unexpected as the Foo Fighters had a number of gigs lined up. They were slated to perform in Bogotá, Colombia, for the Festival Estereo Picnic on Friday, March 25, followed by Lollapalooza Brasil on Sunday. It was also just announced that the Foo Fighters were supposed to perform at the Grammys on April 3.
The band left a heartfelt tribute to their late drummer. “The Foo Fighters family is devastated by the tragic and untimely loss of our beloved Taylor Hawkins,” the band’s officially Twitter account wrote. “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.” Here’s everything you need to know about the Foo Fighters drummer who left this earth too soon.
— Foo Fighters (@foofighters) March 26, 2022
1. Taylor was initially Alanis Morissette’s drummer
Taylor Hawkins performed with another famous singer before joining the Foo Fighters. He was a drummer for none other than Alanis Morissette. He left his gig playing for rock singer Sass Jordan to join her on her hit “Jagged Little Pill” tour in 1995. He played with her for two years up until 1997. It was at that point that Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl asked if he had any drummers he could recommend to replace William Goldsmith. Rather than giving another name, Taylor volunteered himself claiming he always wanted to play for a rock band.
2. He is also a singer
Even though he’s best known for being a talented and innovative drummer, he also had an impressive singing voice. Ironically, Dave Grohl was quite the talented drummer so he and the Foo Fighters frontman switched off from time to time. One of the most notorious of these moments was when the Foo Fighters joined forces with Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones back in 2008. He also formed his own band Taylor Hawkins And The Coattail Riders where showed off more of his singing voice.
3. He was named as Best Rock Drummer
Taylor Hawkins was one of the most notorious drummers of all time so it’s no surprise that he was named Rhythm Magazine’s Best Rock Drummer back in 2005. He landed a sweet spot on the cover with pic captured him mid-action as he was drumming. Even though he had quite a bit of success under his belt at that time, he was still modest about accepting the title. “Thank you to everyone, it’s awesome to keep winning. I’m very flattered that people enjoy what I do, but I feel slightly sheepish and undeserving at the same time, considering how many great drummers there are out there,” he told the magazine at the time.
4. He was inducted in the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame
Taylor was inducted into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame just last year in 2021 along with the rest of his Foo Fighters crew. Everyone in the band gave a brief acceptance speech at the induction ceremony. Taylor stayed true to his humble nature in his speech. “First, I’d like to thank Dave, ’cause none of this sh*t would have happened if it wasn’t for Dave. So thank you for letting me be in your band,” he started. He even used it as an opportunity to lift other artists up. “I want to say thank you to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for putting us in,” he continued. “I’d like to share this award with a couple bands that I’d like to see get in there someday too: I’d like to see George Michael in there one day. I’d like to see Jane’s Addiction in there; I’d really like that.”
5. He started his music career at a young age
Taylor found his passion for music early on in life. He played in a number of bands when he was a teenager which is likely what helped him jump-start his career and land the gig with Sass Jordan early on. The musician, who was initially born Oliver Taylor Hawkins, was born in Fort Worth, Texas but his family moved to Laguna Beach, California, which is likely what allowed him to break into the music industry.