What We Know About Taylor Hawkins' Friendship With Ozzy Osbourne

Taylor Hawkins' untimely death at age 50 has shocked fans and fellow musicians alike (via CNN). Newsweek writes that the lifeless body of the Foot Fighters' drummer was found in a hotel room in Bogotá, Columbia while the band was on tour. Although a cause of death has not been revealed, toxicology reports found that Hawkins had 10 different substances in his system (per People). According to AP News, he joined Foo Fighters in 1997. Hawkins had been working as Alanis Morissette's drummer when he met Dave Grohl. Hawkins joined the Foo Fighters shortly after.

In his 25 years with the Foo Fighters, Hawkins gained the respect and admiration of various famed musicians. Heavy Consequence reports that Perry Farrell from Jane's Addiction referred to Hawkins as his "best friend." Farrell performed with Foo Fighters in Argentina on March 20, in what would be Hawkins' final show. Roger Taylor, drummer for Queen, stated that Hawkins' death felt like "losing a younger favorite brother." He's not alone in this sentiment. Since the announcement of Hawkins' death on March 25, several other musicians have paid tribute to him. Per Entertainment Weekly, this includes Lars Ulrich, Ringo Starr, and rock's prince of darkness himself, Ozzy Osbourne.

The Foo Fighters played Ozzfest in 1998

According to Rock Cellar Magazine, the Foo Fighters and Ozzy Osbourne go way back. MTV reports that in early 1998, the band was on a world tour. Although it was speculated that they were going to perform in that year's Ozzfest, nothing had been confirmed. Loudwire explains that Ozzfest, a metal music festival, was created by Osbourne's wife, Sharon, after Lollapalooza had rejected Ozzy. When Korn canceled their appearance at the festival, Foo Fighters were asked to take their slot. Dave's True Stories writes that the band was shocked that Ozzfest wanted them. After all, they are not a metal band.

Nonetheless, Foo Fighters agreed. As Grohl put it, "why the hell not?" They performed on June 20, 1998 at the Milton Keynes National Bowl in the U.K. They were scheduled to perform after Pantera, a fact that Grohl has gone on to say made him apprehensive. Per the Foo Fighters Live, the band performed what they thought were their heavier songs to appease the rowdy crowd. This included their hits "My Hero," "Monkey Wrench," and "Everlong." Besides Pantera and Foo Fighters, Slayer, Black Sabbath, Soulfly, and more also performed that day. This, however, would not be the last time the band was associated with Ozzy Osbourne.

Taylor Hawkins is featured on Ozzy Osbourne's new LP

In late 2020, it was announced that Taylor Hawkins was working on Ozzy Osbourne's new studio album (via NME). This news came two years after Foo Fighters was accused of ripping off Ozzy Osbourne's 1991 song "Desire." Many believe the song sounds a lot like the Foo Fighters 2002 song "All My Life." Despite this, Osbourne's longtime guitarist Zakk Wylde refuted these claims and said, "I think everybody gets inspired by everything. Whether you're the Stones or The Beatles ..."

As for Osbourne's new album, Ultimate Classic Rock reports that Robert Trujillo from Metallica and Red Hot Chili Peppers' Chad Smith were also attached to the project. This album is a follow-up to Osbourne's 2020 critically acclaimed album "Ordinary Man." Producer Andrew Watt stated that production was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, he expressed that Hawkins' contribution "hearkened back to Ozzy's '80s era, in a great way."

Watt went on to explain that half of the album will feature Chad Smith on drums, while the other half will have Hawkins (per Hot Press). As of March 2022, this new album has not been released and a drop date has not been set. Previously, Watt noted that, "This time everyone's moving a little slower and we're taking a little more time."

Ozzy Osbourne mourns Taylor Hawkins

It's clear that Hawkins and Osbourne had a deep professional relationship. When news of Hawkins' shocking death came to light, Osbourne tweeted that Hawkins "was truly a great person and an amazing musician." He went on to send his condolences to Hawkins' family, the Foo Fighters, and their fans. Additionally, Osbourne's wife, Sharon, tweeted a black and white photo of Hawkins that included the words, "sending all our love to his wife and children" (via Hello! Magazine). According to The U.S. Sun, Hawkins married Alison Hawkins in 2005. The pair have three young children, Oliver, Annabelle, and Everleigh.

CNN reports that funeral plans for the late drummer are currently unknown. Besides Foo Fighters, Hawkins' had other musical ventures. The Guardian writes that he had his own band, called Taylor Hawkins and the Coattail Riders. Additionally, he played with Chevy Metal, a cover band, and The Birds of Satan. Most recently, he formed a new band, NHC, with Jane's Addiction members Dave Navarro and Chris Chaney (per NME). The band released their singles "Feed The Cruel" and "Better Move On" in September 2021.