(Update 1: Adds details, minor edits)
Bogotá, Mar 25 (EFE).- Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins has died at the age of 50 in Bogotá, the American rock band announced Friday night.
The Seattle band was scheduled to headline the first day of the Estéreo Picnic Festival in the Colombian capital, but an hour before it was to take the stage, the news of the drummer’s death, announced by the band on its social media, spread like wildfire among the crowd.
“The Foo Fighters family is devastated by the tragic and untimely loss of our beloved Taylor Hawkins. His musical spirit and infectious laughter will live on with all of us forever,” the band wrote on their social media accounts.
“Our hearts go out to his wife, children and family, and we ask that their privacy be treated with the utmost respect in this unimaginably difficult time,” it concluded.
No cause of death or further details were given, but local media reported that Hawkins was found in his hotel room.
Before the Black Pumas took the stage, the organizers of the festival and the leader of the Pumas came out to announce the news and asked the shocked audience for a minute of silence.
Diego Urbano, who came from Peru just to see the Foo Fighters in concert, told Efe it was “a very sad scene because we got to the stage to see how things were, and the technicians and the staff were crying, taking things apart.”
“Beyond the money lost, the fans are broken,” said a distraught Urbano.
On the stage where the Foo Fighters were to perform, festival organizers made an improvised altar with candles. Many fans could not hold back their tears.
Wearing the band’s T-shirt, festival-goer Carlos said Hawkins was “the band’s drummer for life.”
“He was an artistic reference and an inspiration,” he told Efe sadly.
Many of the fans decided to stay to remember Hawkins, and the music carried on after the brief vigil as a tribute to the late drummer.
Born Oliver Taylor Hawkins in Fort Worth Texas in 1972, he grew up in Laguna Beach, California.
He played in various bands as a teenager before becoming a drummer for Sass Jordan and then Alanis Morissette’s touring band.
In 1997 he joined Foo Fighters alongside ex-Nirvana drummer and Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl before the band launched into superstardom, filling stadiums around the world.
Hawkins had side projects Taylor Hawkins and the Coattail Riders and The Birds of Satan, and worked with artists such as Slash, Brian May and Coheed and Cambria.
Condolences poured in from musicians around the world.
“God bless you Taylor Hawkins. I loved your spirit and your unstoppable rock power. Rest In Peace my friend,” Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello wrote on Twitter alongside a photo of the two of them with Perry Farrell from Jane’s Addiction.
Smashing Pumpkins tweeted a photo alongside the text: “Taylor Hawkins 1972-2022. Our deepest sympathies to Taylor’s family, his fans, and of course his band.”