Taylor Hawkins Remembered At The Grammys In Special Tribute Ahead Of In Memoriam

During the 2022 Grammys, the ceremony took a moment to pay tribute to Taylor Hawkins of the Foo Fighters in a moment that celebrated the life and legacy of rock’s ‘hero’ drummer.

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Image Credit: RMV/Shutterstock

The 64th Annual Grammy Awards took place in the long, cold shadow of tragedy. As music’s best and brightest gathered for the Apr. 4 event, one person missing was Taylor Hawkins, the beloved drummer for the Foo Fighters who passed away at the age of 50 on March 26. Though Taylor was gone, he was far from forgotten. Along with Billie Eilish giving love to Taylor during her Grammys performance, the ceremony dedicated a moment to Taylor before the In Memoriam segment.

During the non-televised portion of the Grammys, the Foo Fighters won three awards: they took home Best Rock Performance for “Making A Fire,” Best Rock Song for “Waiting on a War,” and Best Rock Album for Medicine at Midnight.

The world learned of Taylor’s passing via a statement that the band put out on social media. “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,” the statement read. “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.”

Foo Fighters were scheduled to headline the Festival Estereo Picnic in Bogotá, Colombia, followed by a headlining slot at Lollapalooza Brasil on Sunday. The performance was canceled just as fans were gathering. “We were getting into position when they announced that the Foo Fighters would not be performing,” Romeo Reyes, a concertgoer, told CNN, “but they didn’t say why. About 10 minutes later, the news broke that Taylor had died.”

The cause of Taylor’s death wasn’t made known, but Colombia’s Attorney General’s Office released a preliminary “forensic medical study” on Sunday (Mar. 27), per CNN. The report said a urine toxicology test was carried out and ten substances were found, including THC, tricyclic antidepressants, benzodiazepines, and opioids. The investigation is still ongoing. What is known is that Taylor, in his short time on this earth, touched countless of lives with his music and larger-than-life personality.

Taylor Hawkins (RMV/Shutterstock)

Taylor’s death sent ripples of grief throughout the music world. Miley Cyrus, the other headliner at Lollapalooza Brasil, dedicated her performance of “Angels Like You” to Taylor. During her set, she spoke about how her plane had to make an emergency landing after it was struck by lighting. “The first person that I called was Taylor, because he was already at the festival,” she said, as she held back tears. “That would’ve been a time that I would’ve gone to see my friend, and I didn’t, so it makes me really sad.  I would’ve done anything to hang out with him one more time.”

Artists Ozzy Osbourne to Tom Morello to Questlove to Finneas all mourned the tragic loss of a brilliant musician and beloved friend. Travis Barker, who was enlisted to play as part of the Academy Awards All-Star Band, wrote that he didn’t “have the words” upon hearing the news of his friend’s death. “I’ll never forget Laguna Beach days when I was a trash man playing in a punk rock band and you were playing with Alanis [Morissette.] You’d come watch me play in dive bars and be like, ‘kid you’re a star.’ And I thought you were crazy but you gave me so much hope and determination…. To say I’ll miss you my friend isn’t enough. Till the next time we talk drums and smoke in the boys room … Rest In Peace.”

“Not only was he a GREAT drummer but his personality was big and shiny and will be sorely missed by all who were lucky to live and work alongside him,” wrote Sir Paul McCartney in his tribute to his friend. “So thanks Taylor for sharing some glorious minutes with me. You were a true Rock and Roll hero and will always remain in my heart.”

In the weeks following Hawkins’ death, the world reflected on just the scope of what it had lost. “Taylor Hawkins understood the mechanics and history of the [rock] genre and his place in it but also — and this is every bit as crucial — how to never let it go to his head,” wrote Craig Jenkins for Vulture. Kerrang’s obituary celebrated him as a “wild light blinding bright,” a “true one-of-a-kind” soul. When the Red Hot Chili Peppers were presented with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, drummer Chad Smith – who shared a tribute video to Taylor – honored his beloved friend. “I have to give a shout out to my brother Taylor Hawkins, who I love and we will all miss so much,” he said, per the Independent. “He would laugh and make a nice smart a– comment about this whole thing, and I love him.”