LOS ANGELES (AP) — Taylor Hawkins, longtime drummer for rock band Foo Fighters, has died. He was 50 years old.
There were no immediate details about Hawkins’ death, although the band said in a statement Friday that his death was a “tragic and untimely loss.”
The Foo Fighters were on tour in South America. They played a festival in San Isidro, Argentina on Sunday and were scheduled to play another in Bogotá, Colombia on Friday night.
“His musical spirit and infectious laughter will live with us all forever,” read a message on the band’s official Twitter account which was also emailed to reporters.
“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.”
After Foo Fighters founder and frontman Dave Grohl, Hawkins was probably the band’s most prominent member, appearing alongside Grohl in interviews and playing prominent roles in the band’s videos.
He also starred in Foo Fighters’ recently released comedy-horror film, “Studio 666,” in which a demonic force in a house the group is staying seizes Grohl and turns him murderous.
Hawkins and other members of the group, Pat Smear, Rami Jaffee, Chris Shiflett, Nate Mendel, are killed one by one. The film allowed the band, which for decades was one of rock music’s most enduring bands, to have fun while playing a long-running joke.
The film’s premise grew out of their work on their 10th studio album at a home in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley.
Hawkins was the Foo Fighters’ drummer for 25 of the band’s 28-year existence, succeeding original drummer William Goldsmith in 1997.
Born Oliver Taylor Hawkins in Fort Worth, Texas in 1972, Hawkins grew up in Laguna Beach, California. He played in the small Southern California band Sylvia before landing his first major gig as the drummer for Canadian vocalist Sass Jordan. He then spent the mid-1990s as a touring drummer for Alanis Morissette before Grohl asked him to join the Foo Fighters.
This is the second time Grohl has seen the death of a close band member. Grohl was Nirvana’s drummer when Kurt Cobain died in 1994.
Hawkins is survived by his wife Alison and their three children.