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Music

Foo Fighters, Tom Morello and Ozzy Osbourne pay tribute to Taylor Hawkins

Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins has died. His band confirmed that they were devastated by the “untimely loss”, and asked that the privacy of his family be respected during this difficult time. Hawkins was only 50 years old. As well as drumming, Hawkins regularly wrote and sang for the band, freeing guitarist Dave Grohl to drum in his place. Hawkins recently featured with the other members of the band in horror pastiche Studio 666.

Former Black Sabbath vocalist Ozzy Osbourne referred to Hawkins as an “amazing musician”. Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello praised the musician for “unstoppable rock power”, while Nickelback said the death was “incredibly sad”. Oscar-nominated producer Finneas O’Connell claimed “the world was lucky” to have experienced the multi-faceted musician. As of the time of print, no cause of death has been confirmed to the public.

Miley Cyrus uploaded a memory onto social media, recalling a time she shared with the deceased drummer, dancing to ‘Brass in Pocket’, and elected to dedicate a forthcoming show in his honour. Gene Simmons paid his respects to the Hawkins family but reiterated what a loss it was for the world at large.

Hawkins was a Foo Fighters mainstay since 1999 and performed on all their albums from that point on. He had shown his chops as percussionist for Alanis Morissette, touring with the alternative rocker during her Jagged Little Pill heyday. He had also performed drums for singer Sass Jordan, before joining Foo Fighters.

In his interview with Far Out, The Police drummer Stewart Copeland singled Hawkins out as a percussionist he admired. Grohl, a drummer by trade, felt relaxed enough in Hawkins to let him play the drum fills he would otherwise have recorded.

“So when I called him and said, ‘Hey, I’m looking for a drummer’, ” Grohl remembered, in an interview taken before Hawkins death. “He said, ‘You know I’m your guy’. And I think it had more to do with our personal relationship than anything musical.” Grohl continued with this line of thought: “And to be honest, it still does. Our musical relationship, the foundation of that is our friendship, and that’s why when we jump on stage and play, we’re so connected because we’re like best friends, and it’s great.”