Taylor Hawkins, for 25 years the drummer for Foo Fighters and best friend of frontman Dave Grohl, has died during a South American tour with the rock band. He was 50.
There were few immediate details on how Hawkins died, although the band said in a statement Friday that his death was a “tragic and untimely loss.”
Colombia’s Prosecutor’s Office released a statement Saturday saying toxicological tests on urine from Hawkins’ body preliminarily found 10 psychoactive substances and medicines, including marijuana, opioids, tricyclic antidepressants and benzodiazepines. It did not provide a cause of death and investigations are continuing.
Foo Fighters had been scheduled to play at a festival in Bogota, Colombia, on Friday night. Hawkins’ final concert was Sunday at another festival in San Isidro, Argentina.
“His musical spirit and infectious laughter will live on with all of us forever,” said a message on the band’s official Twitter account that was also emailed to reporters. “Our hearts go out to his wife, children and family.”
The Bogota municipal government issued a statement Saturday that the city’s emergency center had received a report of a patient with “chest pain” and sent an ambulance, though a private ambulance had already arrived at the hotel in northern Bogota.
Health workers tried to revive him but were unable to do so.
“It was a band I grew up with. This leaves me empty,” Juan Sebastian Anchique, 23, told The Associated Press as he mourned Hawkins outside the hotel.
The U.S. Embassy in Bogota also expressed its condolences in a tweet.
After Grohl, Hawkins was the most recognizable member of the group, appearing alongside the lead singer in interviews and playing prominent, usually comic, roles in the band’s memorable videos and their recent horror-comedy film, Studio 666.
Hawkins was Alanis Morissette’s touring drummer when he joined Foo Fighters in 1997. He played on the band’s biggest albums including One by One and In Your Honor, and on hit singles like Best of You.
Tributes poured out on social media for Hawkins.
“God bless you Taylor Hawkins,” Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello said on Twitter along with a photo of himself, Hawkins and Jane’s Addiction singer Perry Farrell. “I loved your spirit and your unstoppable rock power.”
“What an incredible talent, who didn’t also need to be so kind and generous and cool but was all those things too anyway,” tweeted Finneas, Billie Eilish’s brother, co-writer and producer. “The world was so lucky to have his gifts for the time that it did.”
At the festival where Foo Fighters had been scheduled to perform, news of the death leaked out slowly, said Diego Báez, a 33-year-old fan.
A concert organizer first announced the performance was canceled for medical reasons. Minutes later, fans learned from social media of Hawkins’ death.
“Some cried. Others were sad, astonished, moved. It was a very powerful moment,” Baéz said.
A screen projected the words “Taylor Hawkins forever” while the song My Hero played.
Hawkins is survived by his wife, Alison, and their three children.