What We Know About Taylor Hawkins' Death So Far

The entire music world was in mourning following the untimely death of Foo Fighters' drummer, Taylor Hawkins. On Match 25, the charismatic Hawkins, who had manned the drum kit for the band since 1997, died at a hotel in Bogotá, Colombia ahead of a scheduled performance at Festival Estero Picnic. In the wake of Hawkins' death, Foo Fighters were forced to cancel that performance as well as another scheduled show at Lollapalooza Brazil.

According to Meaww, Hawkins died just about an hour before he and the band were supposed to play. Fans were already at the venue waiting to see Hawkins and his bandmates perform hits like "Everlong" and "My Hero," but upon hearing the tragic news of his death, the stage was turned into a memorial, with candles placed on stage as a vigil. Colombian authorities launched an investigation into Hawkins' death, and since then details have been trickling out about what led to the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer's death.

Hawkins' final performance came several days earlier in Argentina

At the time of Hawkins' death, Foo Fighters were in the midst of a string of South American festival dates. According to TMZ, on March 20, just five days before his death, Hawkins played what would tragically prove to be his final show. It was a headlining set at Lollapalooza Argentina, part of a festival series founded by Hawkins' good friend and Jane's Addiction frontman Perry Farrell. Fan video shows Hawkins leaving his usual sport behind the drumkit and switching place with Foo Fighters founder and frontman Dave Grohl to perform a cover of "Somebody To Love" by one of Hawkins' favorite bands and biggest influences, Queen.

According to CNN, two days later, on March 22, Foo Fighters were in Paraguay and on the bill for Asunciónico Festival alongside other acts like Machine Gun Kelly and Miley Cyrus, but the show was canceled due to severe weather. However, Hawkins was seen posing for a photo with a 9-year-old fan who had set up her drums outside the band's hotel.

Hawkins' death and the immediate aftermath

According to CNN, a call was made to emergency responders on the evening of March 25 about a man — Taylor Hawkins — suffering from chest pains. They were called to the band's hotel north of Bogotá, and upon arrival, attempts were made to administer CPR and resuscitate Hawkins. These efforts were unsuccessful and the musician was pronounced dead. Hawkins' death came shortly before Foo Fighters were due on stage, and festival organizers announced to the crowd that "With a broken heart, we are here to tell you sad news. Due to a very serious medical situation, Foo Fighters will not be able to perform at the Festival tonight" (via MEAWW).

Foo Fighters released their own statement on social media: "The Foo Fighters family is devastated by the tragic and untimely loss of our beloved Taylor Hawkins," the announcement read. "His musical spirit and infectious laughter will live on with all of us forever. 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."

There was an outpouring of tributes following Hawkins' death

The band's final show of their South American run was supposed to be in São Paulo at Lollapalooza Brazil. According to ET Canada, Foo Fighters were replaced by Miley Cyrus, who dedicated her set to Hawkins. "I would have done anything to hang out with him one more time," Cyrus said, fighting back tears, before dedicating her song "Angels Like You" to the late Foo Fighters drummer.

Queen drummer Roger Taylor — one of Hawkins' idols — posted on Instagram, "He was a kind brilliant man and an inspirational mentor to my son Rufus and the best friend one could ever have," and likened Hawkins' death to losing a brother.

Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page, who once shared the stage with Foo Fighters for a few songs during the band's performance at London's Wembley Stadium in 2008, also posted a memorial photo of him and Hawkins on Instagram. "It was so good to play with him. I really admired him and he was a brilliant musician: his technique, his energy and spirited enthusiasm. On this sad day, I would like to send my condolences to his family, his band members in the Foos and his fans," Page wrote.

The investigation begins

Colombian officials launched an investigation into Hawkins' cause of death immediately. According to The Detroit News, the Colombian Attorney General's Office issued a statement on the matter. "The National Institute of Forensic Medicine continues to conduct the necessary medical studies to ascertain the cause of death," it read. "The Attorney General's Office will continue to investigate and will duly inform the findings of forensic examinations in due time."

The first pieces that came out surrounding Hawkins' death were from a preliminary toxicology report obtained from a urine sample. According to CNN, the test revealed that Hawkins' sample tested positive for 10 substances that included tricyclic antidepressants, benzodiazepines, opioids, and THC, a compound found in marijuana.

Hawkins' battles with substance abuse had been well-documented. An overdose while on tour in 2001 left him in a coma. "I was partying in London one night, and I mistakenly did something and it changed everything," Hawkins had told Kerrang! back in 2019. "I believed the bulls*** myth of live hard and fast, die young. I'm not here to preach about not doing drugs, because I loved doing drugs, but I just got out of control for a while and it almost got me."

Further investigation yields some surprising information

As the investigation progressed, The Daily Mail reported a surprising new piece of information. Forensic investigators performing Hawkins' autopsy discovered that the musician's heart was around twice the size of a heart typically found in a man his age. Hawkins was 50 years old at the time of his death. The average weight of a heart for a man around that age is 300 to 350 grams. Hawkins' heart reportedly weighed around 600 grams. It was also reported that Hawkins suffered a cardiac collapse brought on by consuming an array of substances, including heroin, antidepressants, and benzodiazepines.

Some of the earliest reports, which The Daily Mail attributes to Colombian journalist Luis Carlos Velez, stated that a police officer who arrived on the scene noted a white powder that was described as "cocaine-like." However, nothing to that effect appeared anywhere in the Attorney General's statement released after the autopsy.