Taylor Hawkins' death may be drugs-related, police say

Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins’ death in Colombian hotel room aged 50 may be drugs-related, police say as Dave Grohl-led band say they are ‘devastated’

  • Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins has died at the age of 50, the band has announced  
  • Taylor was found dead in a hotel room in Bogota, Colombia where the band were due to play at a festival  
  • Band just completed a host of tour dates in South America and was due to appear at The Grammy’s in April
  • The band said it was ‘devastated by the untimely loss’ and asked for the privacy of his family to be respected
  •  Foo Fighters were on tour in South America and the band had played in San Isidro, Argentina, last Sunday 
  • The drummer starred in the world famous band alongside singer Dave Grohl, Nate Mendel, Pat Smear, Chris Shiflett and Rami Jaffee 

Colombian police say the death of Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins in a hotel room may be drug-related as the band paid tribute and said they are devastated by the loss.

The 50-year-old drummer who has a history of drug use died in a hotel room in the north of the country’s capital Bogota called Casa Medina.

The Metropolitan Police of Bogota, in a statement carried by several Colombian newspapers, said: ‘The cause of death has yet to be established.

‘According to those close to him, the death could be related to the consumption of drugs.’

Local reports said hotel staff called the emergency services after Hawkins suffered chest pains but he was already dead by the time medical responders arrived.

The Foo Fighters had been scheduled to play at a concert in the Colombian capital.

Hawkins, a father to two teenage children, had openly discussed his drug and overdose struggles years before what the band called his ‘tragic and untimely’ death.

He overdosed on heroin and ended up in a coma in 2001 four years after joining the band.

Colombian music and entertainment journalist Alejandro Marin tweeted as news of the drummer’s death emerged: ‘Don’t begin to blame the country because Taylor died in Colombia if he died of an overdose.

‘Don’t be so stupid.’

Shortly after Hawkins’ death was announced, dozens of fans together with journalists and videographers began to gather outside the hotel where the band had been staying. Many appeared to be in complete shock at the news with some lighting candles.

Ambulances and police cars could be seen stationed outside of the property. Later on Friday night, Hawkins’ body was finally brought out of the hotel, placed into a coroner’s van and driven away.

The group had been scheduled to play at the Festival Estéreo Picnic in the Colombian capital where an announcement told concert-goers that the band would not be playing due to a ‘serious medical condition’. 

Hawkins, who was married to his wife Alison, and a father to two teenage children, Oliver and Annabelle, had just completed a host of tour dates in South America with the band last playing in San Isidro, Argentina, last Sunday. 

Hawkins joined the band in 1997 after the group completed their second album, The Colour and the Shape. 

Prior to being Foo Fighters, Hawkins played drums for Alanis Morissette from whom he was recruited by frontman Dave Grohl – Nirvana’s own legendary drummer.

Grohl formed his second band Foo Fighters in 1994 in the wake of an earlier tragedy, just months after Kurt Cobain, Nirvana’s frontman, took his own life.

After Cobain’s suicide in April, Grohl retreated and was unsure if he wanted to stay in the music industry but created Foo Fighters in October that year after penning a 15-track demo and signing with Capitol records.

When Hawkins came aboard in 1997, the Foo Fighters’ moved from the alternative rock scene to achieve mainstream success, regularly packing out arenas and stadiums. 

Members of the Technical Investigation Corps (CTI) remove the lifeless body of the drummer of the rock band Foo Fighters, Taylor Hawkins, at the Casa Medina hotel, in Bogota, Colomia

Taylor Hawkins was pictured in what is believed to be for the final time on social media on Wednesday. He is seen on a plane with band member Pat Smear (left) and Samantha Sidley (right) who was working for the band on Wednesday March 23, 2022

A sheet is held up as the body of Taylor Hawkins is moved to a coroner’s van 

Hawkins body was removed from the hotel late on Friday night and taken away by the coroner’s office

Fans who had gathered snapped pictured of the vehicle that had been sent to take Hawkins’ body away


No cause of death was immediately announced but the band revealed they were ‘devastated by the tragic and untimely loss’. Right, an announcement on stage where the Foo Fighters were due to perform on Friday y told audiences that the band would not be performing due to a ‘serious medical situation’

Fans of the band stood in the street to snap a final photo as the vehicle carrying Hawkins’ body was driven away

A police van is seen outside the Casa Medina hotel, where Taylor Hawkins, drummer of the band Foo Fighters was staying

Police vans are seen outside the Casa Medina hotel hours before Hawkins and the Foo Fighters were due to play at the  Estereo Picnic festival, in Bogota, Colombia

People react outside the Casa Medina hotel, where Taylor Hawkins, drummer of the band Foo Fighters was staying

Journalists and fans of rock band Foo Fighters gather outside Casa Medina hotel where the lifeless body of the group’s drummer, Taylor Hawkins, was found, in Bogota, Colombia

Some fans said prayers and lit candles to the legendary drummer who died in his hotel room on Friday night

Journalists and videographers quickly gathered outside of the hotel on Friday night shortly after news was announced

A police officer stands guard outside the Casa Medina hotel, where Taylor Hawkins, was staying. His body is still believed to be inside the hotel

Fans of the band stood around in shock as news of Taylor Hawkins’ death spread 

Fans of the band were in complete shock as they stood outside the hotel where Hawkins

The police were on site quickly at the hotel in northern Bogota where Hawkins and his bandmates were staying

Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins of Foo Fighters perform during day one of Lollapalooza Chile 2022 at Parque Bicentenario Cerrillos on March 18, 2022 in Santiago, Chile. This is believed to be one of the last publicly known photos of him performing

The Foo Fighters charismatic drummer, Taylor Hawkins, has died at the age of 50

An imaginative and rock-solid drummer, he had the seemingly thankless task of playing drums behind Foos singer-guitarist Dave Grohl, who is one of the greatest drummers in rock history. 

Hawkins filled that role with aplomb, bringing his own hard-hitting, time-juggling style to the band’s straight-ahead rock sound without trying to emulate Grohl. 

He was also a strong singer and frequently took the mic during the band’s concerts and on B-sides, often on cover versions (such as a 2008 team-up with Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones, when Grohl went behind the drum kit at Hawkins took the mic). 

He also cowrote many of the band’s songs. 

The Foo Fighters are pictured in their last song in their more performance last Sunday, March 20 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Hawkins could be seen in his usual position behind the drum kit at the Lollapalooza music festival in Buenos Aires


‘In utter disbelief at the news of Taylor Hawkins. Our deepest condolences to his family, his bandmates, his team, his friends and everyone that was ever touched by the music he created with @FooFighters, @Alanis and so many others. This is so incredibly sad,’ wrote Nickelback on Instagram. Miley Cyrus shared a black-and-white snap of the late Foo Fighters drummer

Billy Idol tweeted, ‘So tragic. Rest in peace Taylor’ in a simple yet poignant message

Ozzy Osbourne praised Taylor Hawkins as a ‘great person and an amazing musician,’ and promised to ‘see him on the other side.’

Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker posted a playful backstage photo with his band and Foo Fighters, as Taylor flashed his trademark grin

Tributes to Hawkins poured in immediately on social media from fellow musicians including Nickelback, Ozzy Osbourne and Billy Idol.  

‘In utter disbelief at the news of Taylor Hawkins. Our deepest condolences to his family, his bandmates, his team, his friends and everyone that was ever touched by the music he created with @FooFighters, @Alanis and so many others. This is so incredibly sad,’ wrote Nickelback on Instagram.

Ozzy Osbourne praised Taylor Hawkins as a ‘great person and an amazing musician,’ and promised to ‘see him on the other side.’

‘@TaylorHawkins was truly a great person and an amazing musician,’ Osbourne wrote on Twitter.

‘My heart, my love and my condolences go out to his wife, his children, his family, his band and his fans.

‘See you on the other side – Ozzy.’

Sharing a picture of Hawkins online Idol wrote: ‘So tragic. Rest in peace Taylor.’

Miley Cyrus announced on Instagram that she would be dedicating her next concert to the drummer.

She shared a black-and-white image of Taylor rocking out on his drum set on stage as he flashed his trademark smile.

‘This is how I’ll always remember you…’ she captioned her photo, before adding, ‘My show tomorrow is dedicated to Taylor Hawkins.’ 

Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker joined in the somber tributes by sharing a sweet photo of his band meeting up with Hawkins and other Foo Fighters members.

‘God bless you Taylor Hawkins. I loved your spirit and your unstoppable rock power,’ wrote Rage Against the Machine frontman Tom Morello. ‘Rest In Peace my friend.’

‘I’ve always had so much admiration for him,’ former drummer with Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy tweeted

‘Amazing drummer & a gem of a guy who was always fun to be around,’ said producer Steve Albini

Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker joined in the somber tributes by sharing a sweet photo of his band meeting up with Hawkins and other Foo Fighters members.

Hawkins could be seen grinning while the group’s front man Grohl mugged for the camera.

‘I don’t have the words. Sad to write this or to never see you again,’ he addressed the fallen drummer. ‘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.

‘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,’ Barker wrote. 

‘Years later we toured together with Blink and Foo’s in Australia and I have the best memories of smoking cigarettes in the restroom of flights we were on together and watching your set every night. 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.’

‘God bless you Taylor Hawkins. I loved your spirit and your unstoppable rock power,’ wrote Rage Against the Machine frontman Tom Morello. ‘Rest In Peace my friend.’ 

‘I’ve always had so much admiration for him,’ former drummer with Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy wrote. 

Billie Eilish’s brother and collaborator Finneas praised Hawkins’ kindness and generosity in a sweet tweet

Richard Marx wrote that he was ‘gutted’ by the news after he had recently collaborated with the drummer

Good Charlotte frontman Joel Madden simply wrote that he had ‘no words’ while adding a broken-hearted emoji

Full House star John Stamos shared his final conversation with Taylor with his Twitter followers as he mourned his missed opportunity to catch up with his friend one last time

Kiss cofounder Paul Stanley wrote that he was ‘speechless and gutted’ from the news of Hawkins’ death

Actor Josh Brolin simply shared a closeup photo of Taylor and captioned it, ‘No,’ while adding a crying emoji

The musician and legendary record producer Steve Albini wrote that Hawkins’ death had left music ‘lessened’ and ‘duller.’

‘Taylor Hawins 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,’ he wrote. 

Billie Eilish’s brother and musical collaborator Finneas paid tribute to Hawkins on Twitter.

‘So heartbroken to hear about Taylor Hawkins’ passing, what an incredible talent, who didn’t also need to be so kind and generous and cool but was all those things too anyway,’ he wrote.

‘The world was so lucky to have his gifts for the time that it did, Rest In Peace.’  

Actor Josh Brolin simply shared a closeup photo of Taylor and captioned it, ‘No,’ while adding a crying emoji. 

Kiss cofounder Paul Stanely wrote that he was ‘speechless and gutted’ from the news of Hawkins’ death.

‘Taylor was a great guy, a dad and a husband. My heart goes out to them, Dave and the band. What awful news. 

Full House star John Stamos shared his final conversation with Taylor with his Twitter followers as he mourned his missed opportunity to catch up with his friend one last time.

‘This was Taylor Hawksin’ last text to me: ‘Ya We’ve yet to fully have a hang -Got a put that s*** together before we die’ Wise words from my friend- put that s*** together! I’m so f***ing sad. Another one gone too soon,’ he wrote.

Good Charlotte frontman Joel Madden simply wrote that he had ‘no words’ while adding a broken-hearted emoji. 

Richard Marx wrote that he was ‘gutted’ by the news after he had recently collaborated with the drummer.

‘Gutted. Completely gutted. We just recorded something together a month ago. Can’t even process this right now. Let’s hold Taylor wife and children close to our hearts.’

Fans of the band were also in shock with one writing: ‘We are devastated by this. Our hearts go out to his family & Foo brothers’ while a third responded: ‘Is this real? What?’

Another Twitter user said: ‘In absolute shock & disbelief over the passing of Taylor Hawkins. I’ve always had so much admiration for him.

‘Amazing drummer & a gem of a guy who was always fun to be around. I’m absolutely gutted…my deepest condolences to his bandmates & family.’

Hawkins had spoken openly about his battle with drugs and had given a candid interview on the subject last year. Hawkins is pictured in November 2021 in Monterrey, Mexico

Hawkins had spoken openly about his battle with drugs.

‘I used to do a lot of f**king drugs. You get the work done,’ he said in interview with Kerrang last year in which he spoke of ‘living fast and dying young’.  

‘Everyone has their own path and I took it too far. I was partying in London one night, and I mistakenly did something and it changed everything.

‘I believed the bulls**t myth of live hard and fast, die young. I’m not here to preach about not doing drugs, because I loved doing drugs, but I just got out of control for a while and it almost got me.

‘I was heading down a road that was going to lead to even worse paths. Whether someone’s sober, or they like a glass of wine with dinner, or they want a bottle of Jägermeister before they go onstage, or they like to smoke doobies all day long, everyone has their own path, and I took it too far.

‘I’m glad it got knocked on the head at that point. I wouldn’t take anything away that I’ve done or been through either, because it’s all part of the trip and the journey. I’m trying to be as candid as I can be. I go mountain biking now.’

Foo Fighters were scheduled to perform at the Lollapalooza Festival in Brazil on Sunday and at the Grammy Awards a week later, on April 3.

The band also has multiple tour dates scheduled through December in North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. 


Hawkins and his wife have two children, one of whom is pictured here, Taylor Hawkins, left and Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters are pictured prior to the Grammy awards in 2014

Taylor Hawkins, Rami Jaffee, Dave Grohl, Pat Smear, Chris Shiflett, and Nate Mendel pose backstage as The Foo Fighters reopen Madison Square Garden in June 2021

Hawkins was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Paul McCartney together with Foo Fighters last year.

‘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. 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,’ the band wrote in a statement.  

The band had been scheduled to perform at the Grammys on April 3 with a North American tour starting in May.  

Born Oliver Taylor Hawkins in Fort Worth, Texas, he had worked as a touring drummer for the likes of Alanis Morissette and Sass Jordan before joining Foo Fighters in 1997.

His career went from strength to strength and he was named Best Rock Drummer in 2005 by magazine Rhythm.

Taylor then joined the band after the singer Dave Grohl fell out with the drummer William Goldsmith. Goldsmith then left the group. 

Grohl had also previously been the drummer in Nirvana and the group ended up re-recording an album they made with Goldsmith, with Grohl playing the drum parts himself before reaching out to an acquaintance when looking for recommendations for a new drummer, who suggested Taylor.

Grohl was under the impression Taylor wouldn’t want to leave Morissette’s touring band but Taylor decided to join the band stating that he had long wanted to be the drummer in a rock band.

Taylor also provided vocals, guitar and piano for the band on various recordings.

Taylor Hawkins of Foo Fighters performs onstage at the after party for the Los Angeles premiere of ‘Studio 666’ at the Fonda Theatre on February 16, 2022 in Hollywood, California

 (From left-right) Nate Mendel, Taylor Hawkins, Dave Grohl, Pat Smear, Chris Shiflett and Rami Jaffee of Foo Fighters attend the 36th Annual Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony  in October 2021 in Cleveland, Ohio

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