Foo Fighters' Taylor Hawkins 'suffered cardio collapse after taking cocktail of drugs'

27 March 2022, 07:21 | Updated: 28 March 2022, 16:45

Taylor Hawkins had 10 different substances in his system at the time of his death
Taylor Hawkins had 10 different substances in his system at the time of his death. Picture: Alamy

By Megan Hinton

Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins suffered a "cardiovascular collapse" after taking a "cocktail of drugs", investigators have said.

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The 50-year-old was playing on the South American leg of the band's world tour when his sudden death was announced on Saturday.

His heart was found to weigh "at least 600 grams" - double that of men his age - when he died, reports from Colombian news magazine Semana said.

It comes after Colombian officials said Hawkins had 10 different substances in his system at the time of his death.

In a statement following an initial forensic examination, the Colombian Attorney General's Office said a preliminary urine toxicology test indicated the presence of 10 different substances, including marijuana, antidepressants and opioids.

The statement continued: "The National Institute of Forensic Medicine continues to conduct the necessary medical studies to ascertain the cause of death.

"The Attorney General's Office will continue to investigate and will duly inform the findings of forensic examinations in due time."

The musician has previously opened up about his struggle with drug use after he overdosed on heroin and ended up in a coma in 2001.

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The rock group played in Argentina last Sunday and were due to perform in Bogota on Friday night.

It comes after the Bogota municipal government said the city's emergency centre received a report of a patient with "chest pain" and sent an ambulance on Friday evening.

Paramedics attempted to revive Hawkins but there was no response and he was declared dead at his hotel in northern Bogota, the statement added.

The band, fronted by former Nirvana star Dave Grohl, said they were "devastated by the untimely loss" and asked for the privacy of Hawkins' family to be respected.

Tributes have poured in from titans of the music industry, with Queen drummer Roger Taylor comparing his death to "losing a younger favourite brother".

"He was a kind brilliant man and an inspirational mentor to my son Rufus and the best friend one could ever have. Devastated," he said.

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Meanwhile Queen guitarist Brian May said he is "heartbroken" adding that Hawkins was "family to us".

Hawkins will appear on May's upcoming remastered second solo album, Another World Revisited.

Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker remembered the days when Hawkins played with Alanis Morissette before playing for the Foo Fighters, adding that he was "sad" he would never see him again.

"I'll never forget Laguna Beach days when I was a trash man playing in a punk rock band and you were playing with Alanis.

"You'd come watch me play in dive bars and be like, 'kid you're a star'.

"And I thought you were crazy but you gave me so much hope and determination.

"Years later we toured together with Blink and Foos in Australia and I have the best memories of smoking cigarettes in the restroom of flights we were on together and watching your set every night.

"To say I'll miss you my friend isn't enough. Till the next time we talk drums and smoke in the boys room."

Guns N' Roses lead singer Axl Rose said Hawkins was a "really great guy, drummer n' family man" adding that he was "truly saddened" by the news of his death.

Rolling Stones singer Sir Mick Jagger also paid tribute, writing: "So incredibly sad to hear of the passing of Taylor Hawkins. My thoughts are with his family and the band at this time."

Meanwhile Duran Duran star Roger Taylor said Hawkins was one of the last true "rock star drummers of our time."

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"Whenever I saw Taylor play it always struck me that he embodied the spirit of punk, coupled with the amazing technique and ability.

"I was truly honoured what I heard that you were in the audience at our last show in Vegas. The Californian surf will miss you too Taylor," he added.

Liam Gallagher, former frontman of rock band Oasis said he was "devastated to hear the sad news" alongside rock band Biffy Clyro, musician Billy Idol and Beatles drummer Sir Ringo Starr, who all tweeted their condolences.

Ozzy Osbourne, who rose to fame in Black Sabbath, praised Hawkins as a "great person and an amazing musician," and promised to "see him on the other side".

Hawkins played in the Foos for more than two decades, alongside Grohl on vocals and guitar and fellow bandmates Nate Mendel, Pat Smear, Chris Shiflett and Rami Jaffee.

He joined in 1997 following the departure of the band's previous drummer William Goldsmith.

In a tweet from the Foo Fighters' official account, they said: "His musical spirit and infectious laughter will live on with all of us forever."

Pictures on social media showed fans gathering in front of the stage at the Estereo Picnic festival, with lit candles being placed on stage.

The band were scheduled to perform at the Grammys on April 3 and were due to begin a new tour of North America in May.

Hawkins was born in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1972 and raised in Laguna Beach, California.

He is survived by his wife Alison and their three children.