What We Know About Foo Fighters Taylor Hawkins' Untimely Death

On March 25, the tragic death of Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins rocked the world. Tributes poured in across social media, with Foo Fighters issuing a statement on Twitter. "The Foo Fighters family is devastated by the tragic and untimely loss of our beloved Taylor Hawkins," the band wrote. "His musical spirit and infectious laughter will live on with all of us forever." In the wake of his death, Foo Fighters has pulled out of their South American tour, according to Slate.

Hawkins leaves behind an incredible legacy — not the least through his musical talents as one of the all-time greats — but also through the bonds he forged with other titans in the industry. "God bless you Taylor Hawkins. I loved your spirit and your unstoppable rock power. Rest in Peace my friend," Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello tweeted. Other rock n' roll legends, such as Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page, spoke of how they'd looked up to Hawkins. "I really admired [Hawkins] and he was a brilliant musician: his technique, his energy, and spirited enthusiasm," Page wrote on Instagram

Indeed, the list of tributes to Hawkins reads like a who's who in the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame, proving the drummer's widespread, meaningful impact on the industry. Currently, not much information has been released about the circumstances surrounding Hawkins' death, but here's what we know so far.

Taylor Hawkins was last scheduled to play in Colombia

At the time of his death, the New York Post reports that Taylor Hawkins, who once played in Alanis Morissette's band, was in Bogota, Colombia, where he and the Foo Fighters were playing a South American tour. Most recently, he had played in Chile and Argentina, and was next slated to head to Brazil. In Colombia, the city's emergency center sent an ambulance to Hawkins' hotel, the Four Seasons Casa Medina, after hearing reports of a patient with chest pains. However, by the time first responders arrived on the scene, Hawkins was already dead.

Upon hearing the news, fans assembled outside his hotel to pay their respects, according to the New York Post. "The District Department of Health mourns the death of this talented musician and drummer, widely recognized internationally for his work," local health officials said in a statement, per Deadline.

Because an official cause of death has yet to be revealed, there is still confusion around Hawkins' death. That said, the Colombian attorney general took to Twitter to explain that the matter is under investigation. Local officials have widely speculated the death to be drug-related.

Did drugs play a role in Taylor Hawkins' death?

Following Taylor Hawkins death, police told the Mirror that "according to those close to him, the death could be related to the consumption of drugs." This is backed up by a report from the Colombian newspaper, El Tiempo. According to the paper, authorities "found hallucinogenic drugs [though] no signs of violence in the luxury hotel room" (via the New York Post). 

Furthermore, journalist Luis Carlos Vélez alleges that police found "a cocaine looking powder" in Hawkins' hotel. "Colombian authorities found: an empty beer can, an opened bottle of vodka, a Coca-Cola bottle, and some 'other articles' being analyzed by authorities," Veléz also tweeted. As of about 4:30PM EST, the journalist seemingly confirmed that Hawkins had died of an overdose. "Colombian authorities found: [marijuana], antidepressants, opioids, heroin. At least 10 different substances found, sources of @FiscaliaCol tells me. Official report soon," he wrote.

Should the report be true, it will be the second time that Nirvana alum Dave Grohl has lost a bandmate with a history of drug abuse. As Rolling Stone notes, Nirvana's Kurt Cobain had a near-fatal overdose in his final days before committing suicide.

Taylor Hawkins had a known history of drug abuse

Taylor Hawkins had a history of drug abuse, dating back to 2001 when he overdosed on heroin and entered a coma shortly after joining the Foo Fighters, according to The U.S. Sun. "I was partying in London one night, and I mistakenly did something and it changed everything," he said at the time. "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." 

In a 2021 interview with Kerrang, Hawkins additionally referenced his wilder days. "I used to do a lot of drugs," he admitted. When pressed, he added that he "believed the bulls*** myth of live hard and fast, die young ... I was heading down a road that was going to lead to even worse paths."

During the height of Hawkins' drug abuse, his bandmate Dave Grohl sat by his bedside while Hawkins was in a coma, per The Guardian. According to the outlet, Grohl also told biographer Paul Brannigan that he even "considered quitting music [during that time]. Because I was wondering if music just equaled death." As of this writing, Grohl has yet to issue a statement on Hawkins' death.