On Friday night (March 25), Foo Fighters issued a statement confirming that the 50-year-old drummer had died in Bogotá, Colombia. A cause of death was not given. “The Foo Fighters family is devastated by the tragic and untimely loss of Taylor Hawkins,” it read.
During his show on Saturday, Van Halen told the crowd: “We lost somebody really important yesterday. And he was a hero to me, and a hero to all of us,” pointing to his band, “and a hero to countless people out there. So, we feel this is necessary.
“We worked this out this morning, so please excuse any rough edges, but we just had to fuckin’ do this.”
Watch the performance below.
Tributes to Hawkins have been flowing in across the weekend from the likes of Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello, Queen guitarist Brian May, Ozzy Osbourne, John Mayer, Sam Fender, Ringo Starr, Nickelback, Incubus and many more.
A host of artists have also dedicated performances and songs to the late drummer, including Coldplay, who dedicated a song to Hawkins at a gig in Mexico on Friday (March 25), and Miley Cyrus, who played her Lollapalooza set in his honour.
On Saturday night, Elton John also paid tribute to Hawkins during a show at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa, which was part of the US leg of his ongoing ‘Farewell Yellow Brick Road’ tour.
Speaking about the passing of the Foo Fighters drummer, John said: “I was so shocked because he played on my ‘Lockdown Sessions’; he was one of the nicest people you could have ever met, and one of the greatest drummers, and a true musician who loved all sorts of music, and loved life.”
He added: “His music will live on, but I can tell you he was a great, great guy,” before dedicating a performance of ‘Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me’ in memory of Hawkins.
An initial toxicology report has also been shared, revealing that multiple drugs including opiates, antidepressants and marijuana were found in Hawkins’ system at the time of his death.