News of his passing was announced by the band in a statement in the early hours of March 26. His cause of death has yet to be confirmed.
Widely regarded as one of the greatest drummers of all time, Hawkins started out his career as the touring sticksman for acts including Alanis Morrissette.
“If it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t be talking to you,” Hawkins told Music Week for his Aftershow interview in 2019. “She was my first professional gig, I didn’t drum on Jagged Little Pill, but I jumped on the tour and played drums – it was an 18 month fucking banger of a tour.”
After officially joining Foo Fighters in 1997, he contributed to all of their albums since and distinguished himself not only as a prodigy on the drums but also a charismatic presence in the band’s shows (often trading vocal duties with Dave Grohl) and music videos. Foo Fighters debuted at No.1 with their 10th studio album, Medicine At Midnight (Columbia) in 2021. The result meant the band joined acts including Prince, Bon Jovi, The Police and Celine Dion in having five No.1 albums to their name.
Hawkins was also a solo recording and touring artist, delivering three releases with his group The Coattail Riders between Foo Fighters offerings. His final solo outing was 2019’s Get The Money.
“I’m really proud of it,” Hawkins told Music Week. “Foo Fighters is my day job – my Dave job! – and I’d be gutted without it, but this is a whole other side of me.”
Ahead of Get The Money’s release, Hawkins stated he went into the album feeling very grateful about his life and had a lot of big questions going through his head.
“Well, it's funny, I was editing the video for I Blew It at an editing bay down in Culver City, which is adjacent to Venice Beach and that’s where I lived when I first moved to LA to try and become a famous rock dude,” he told Music Week. “It was a scary place: there were gang bangers and freaky people on the boardwalk. It’s creepy. The underbelly of the place was really dark, especially back in the ‘90s. It’s a little less gnarly than it was, but in 1990 it was fucking gnarly. Anyway, I had an hour to kill so I walked to where my old apartment was, which I shared with three other dudes. It was fucking disgusting… I was living on $10 a day back then, I would eat a slice of pizza for breakfast/lunch and a slice of pizza for dinner, or this chicken teriyaki bowl for three bucks, and then the rest of my money went on cigarettes. So I went to that apartment, looked at it and just sort of thanked the fucking heavens that it all worked out. I remember being depressed on a certain level when I was 18 and 19 years old, living there watching the psychos and the fucking gang bangers and stuff. I was completely out of my element with no real band and no real future ahead of me. I didn't know how to put a new band together. I tried to put bands together there, but nothing really seemed to come together too much and look at that apartment and I see my 18 year old, 19 year old self sitting in it thinking, ‘What the fuck am I going to do in my life?’ I reflect on that and it really is a good reminder of just how fucking lucky I am.”
The music industry has taken to Twitter to pay tribute to the late drumming icon. Music Week would like to extend its condolences to Hawkins’ family, friends, bandmates, team and all of his fans around the world.
Rest In Peace Taylor Hawkins ????— Biffy Clyro (@BiffyClyro) March 26, 2022
Taylor.— Garbage (@garbage) March 26, 2022
We are gutted to hear you are gone. So much love to you and your beautiful family.
Our love, thoughts and support are with all who knew Taylor. 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! With love, Nandi x pic.twitter.com/JAxo6N844a— Nandi Bushell (@Nandi_Bushell) March 26, 2022
This is just terrible news. Love and thoughts from all of us in the Numan camp to the Foo Fighters family. https://t.co/WcH218F7nw— Gary Numan (@numanofficial) March 26, 2022
what a beautiful man. what a beautiful spirit. this Foo Fighters show in NYC last June was a pure celebration of live music finally coming back, & Taylor Hawkins was the heart of it. he gave us so many great moments, but this is one I'll never forget.https://t.co/4R1sXa369Y— rob sheffield (@robsheff) March 26, 2022
God bless you Taylor Hawkins. I loved your spirit and your unstoppable rock power. Rest In Peace my friend. pic.twitter.com/AkiRLF2L3e— Tom Morello (@tmorello) March 26, 2022
Taylor Hawkins was a terrific drummer with a gorgeous disposition, seemed always to be having the time of his life. I didn't know him well but I know music is lessened by his passing, made duller and smaller. Requiescat.— steve albini (@electricalWSOP) March 26, 2022
Absolutely devastated to hear the sad news about Taylor Hawkins my thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends RIP brother LG x— Liam Gallagher (@liamgallagher) March 26, 2022
Woke up to the truly devastating Taylor Hawkins news. An incredible drummer, and by all accounts a lovely man. My favourite band. Gutted. Rest in peace. https://t.co/BIgwvxqEeF— Lara Baker (@LaraKBaker) March 26, 2022
Can’t believe it.— Abbie McCarthy (@AbbieAbbiemac) March 26, 2022
A total rock legend & a joyous human
Imagine being the drummer in Dave Grohl’s band. That’s how good he was!!
RIP Taylor Hawkins ????
Rest In Peace Taylor Hawkins. A real rockstar and joy to watch every time. Incredible musician.— Femi Koleoso (@FemiOnDrums) March 26, 2022
Rest in peace Taylor. Love and light! Our hearts go out to your band, family, and fans. You inspired so many. May your drums echo through the ages and inspire generations to come. Rock n Roll lost a real one. pic.twitter.com/pxaDIGvk1t— Papa Roach (@paparoach) March 26, 2022
We’re devastated. Our thoughts are with Taylor’s family, friends and band mates. He was the heartbeat of one of our most favorite bands. It’s hard to imagine someone with his power and energy could be gone so soon. He’ll be sorely missed but never forgotten. https://t.co/efbYnf3ksb— Jimmy Eat World (@jimmyeatworld) March 26, 2022
You can read Taylor Hawkins’ Aftershow interview here.