Taylor Hawkins, drummer of rock group Foo Fighters, has been remembered by titans of the music industry as being a “kind brilliant man” and an “amazing musician” following his death.
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.
The band said it was “devastated by the untimely loss” and asked for the privacy of his family to be respected.
Tributes have been pouring in from music industry heavyweights, describing the news as “heart breaking.”
Queen drummer Roger Taylor compared Hawkins death to “losing a younger favorite 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.
Meanwhile Queen guitarist Brian May said: “No. It cannot be. Heartbroken. Taylor, you were family to us.
“Our friend, our brother, our beloved child. Bless you. We will miss you so bad.”
Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker remembered the days when Hawkins played with Alanis Morissette before moving to 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.”
Meanwhile, Liam Gallagher, former frontman of rock band Oasis said he was “devastated to hear the sad news” alongside rock band Biffy Clyro who tweeted their condolences.
Ozzy Osbourne, who rose to fame in rock band Black Sabbath, praised Taylor Hawkins as a “great person and an amazing musician,” and promised to “see him on the other side.”
“My heart, my love and my condolences go out to his wife, his children, his family, his band and his fans.
“See you on the other side – Ozzy,” he wrote on Twitter.
Sharing a picture of Hawkins online, musician Billy Idol added: “So tragic. Rest in peace Taylor.”
Bridesmaids and Ghostbusters actor Paul Feig also shared a tribute on Twitter, writing: “He was on par with Bonham and Moon and was so much of what made the Foo Fighters the world’s greatest rock band.
“This is such a huge loss for music. Sending so much love to his family and the band. Damn.”
Hawkins, 50, played in the Foos with former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl on vocals for more than two decades, alongside Nate Mendel, Pat Smear, Chris Shiflett and Rami Jaffee.
In a tweet from their Foo Fighters official account, they said: “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.
“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.”
No further details about Hawkins’ death were provided, although local media outlets reported that Hawkins had been suffering from chest pain and an ambulance had been called.
At the time of his death, Foo Fighters were on tour in South America.
The band had played in San Isidro, Argentina, last Sunday and were due to perform in Bogota, Colombia, on Friday night, the day his death was announced.
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 joined Foo Fighters in 1997 following the departure of the band’s previous drummer William Goldsmith.
He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with them in 2021 by Sir Paul McCartney.
Following the release of their most recent album, Medicine At Midnight, the band filmed a spoof-horror film titled Studio 666, in which Hawkins starred alongside his bandmates.
Prior to joining Foo Fighters he had played drums for Alanis Morissette.
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.