Taylor Hawkins, the 50-year-old drummer of the U.S rock band Foo Fighters, has died in Bogotá, one hour before the band was scheduled to play at the Festival Estéreo Picnic on Friday night. The band was the headline act at the outdoor music festival in the Colombian capital. The concert was to start at 11:00 pm.
Hawkins was found dead in his suite at the Casa Medina Four Seasons Hotel in Bogotá’s Chapinero district.
Authorities quoted by El Tiempo newspaper have not determined the cause of death, but claim the National Police’s judicial and forensic investigators – CTI – are investigating whether “the consumption of narcotic substances” may have caused Hawkins’s cardiac arrest.
Bogotá’s Health Secretariat released a statement early Saturday in which the authority states that emergency units received a “report of a patient with pains in his chest, located in a hotel in the north of the city. An ambulance was dispatched to attend the emergency. However, on arrival, health care professionals attempted to reanimate, but without response, the patient was declared deceased.”
The band was staying at the same Bogotá hotel where American singer-songwriter Miley Cyrus had stayed before her concert Monday at the Movistar arena. Cyrus, who is also on tour in South America, said she will dedicate her concert Saturday at the Lollapalooza Festival in Sao Paulo, Brazil, to Taylor Hawkins.
The Foo Fighters released a statement Friday night on Twitter in which they announced the “untimely death of our beloved Hawkins. His musical spirit and infectious laughter will live on with all of us together.” The band’s official statement extends condolences to Hawkins’s wife, children and family and asks “that their privacy be treated with the utmost respect in this unimaginably difficult time.”
Before becoming a Foo Fighter, Hawkins was a touring drummer for Sass Jordan and Alanis Morissette. He performed with the Canadian recording artist on her hit song You Oughta Know. In 1997, Hawkins replaced the Foo Fighters’ drummer William Goldsmith.
On Saturday morning fans of the group began to gather outside the Casa Medina Hotel to light candles and lay flowers for the rock star.
Taylor Hawkins was born in Fort Worth, Texas, and was voted “Best Rock Drummer” in 2005 by the British drumming magazine Rhythm.
Tributes are pouring in from around the world with news of Hawkins’ death.
RCA Records stated on social media: “We are deeply saddened by the loss of the great Taylor Hawkins. His loving spirit and immense talent will never be forgotten. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Hawkins family, friends, and the entire Foo Fighters community across the world.”
The Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger: “So incredibly sad to hear of the passing of Taylor Hawkins. My thoughts are with his family and the band at this time.”
Liam Gallagher of Oasis: “Absolutely devastated to hear the sad news about Taylor Hawkins my thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends RIP brother LG x”