Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins has died aged 50, the band has announced.
The American band – one of the most successful rock bands of the past three decades – said they were “devastated”.
“The foo fighters family is devastated by the tragic and untimely loss of our beloved Taylor Hawkins,” the band tweeted.
“His musical spirit and contagious laughter will live with us all forever.
“Our thoughts are with his wife, children and family, and we ask that their privacy be treated with the utmost respect at this incredibly difficult time.”
No cause of death was given in the group’s message.
The band are currently in Bogota, Colombia as part of a tour that was due to visit the UK this summer with stadium shows in London, Birmingham and Manchester.
Hawkins joined the band in 1997 after touring with singer Alanis Morissette, one of the biggest stars of the 90s.
He phoned frontman Dave Grohl – himself a former Nirvana drummer – when former member William Goldsmith left, beginning a 25-year career with the band.
The Foos had just completed their second album The Color and the Shape, which includes their most famous song Everlong.
With the hard-hitting Hawkins on board, the band went from the alternative rock scene to major mainstream success.
They now regularly fill arenas and stadiums around the world with anthem tracks such as Times Like These and All My Life.
The drummer’s last performance was at the Lollapalooza festival in Argentina on March 20, according to Rolling Stone, where he sang lead on a cover of Queen’s Somebody to Love.
His last song was an encore of Everlong.
Tributes were paid by the great and the good in the rock world.
Ozzy Osbourne tweeted that Hawkins “was truly a great person and an amazing musician”.
“My heart, love and condolences go out to his wife, kids, family, band and fans. See you on the other side…” the Black Sabbath singer said.
Tom Morello of Rage Against The Machine posted, “God bless you, Taylor Hawkins. I loved your wit and unstoppable rock power. Rest In Peace my friend.”
Former Beatles drummer Ringo Starr also expressed his condolences to the Hawkins family and bandmates.
He wrote: “God bless Taylor. Peace and love to all his family and to the peace and love group.”
Kiss’ Gene Simmons said he was “shocked and saddened”, while the Smashing Pumpkins tweeted their “sincere condolences to Taylor’s family, fans and of course his band”.
Billy Idol shared a photo of Hawkins on Twitter and wrote, “So tragic.”
American rock band Nickelback said they were “totally in disbelief” at news of the drummer’s death.
“This is incredibly sad,” they tweeted.
In complete disbelief at the news of Taylor Hawkins. Our deepest condolences to his family, bandmates, crew, friends and all who have been touched by the music he created with @foofighters @Alanis and so many others. It’s incredibly sad. pic.twitter.com/2AUeqpaN94
— Nickelback (@Nickelback) March 26, 2022
Billie Eilish’s brother and collaborator Finneas said he was “heartbroken” and called Hawkins “incredible talent”.
Hawkins told the Sydney Morning Herald last year he was inspired to get into music when his mother took him to see Queen in 1982, telling him: “I’ll play at this stadium one day.”
Speaking to rock publication Kerrang, he added: “After that gig, I don’t think I slept for three days.
“It changed everything and I was never the same because of it. It was the start of my obsession with rock ‘n’ roll.”
The Foo Fighters were due to wrap up their tour in Auckland the week before Christmas, with the band also recently playing in their own horror movie called Studio 666.
Hawkins was born in Fort Worth, Texas and was married with three children.