Foo Fighters Drummer Taylor Hawkins Died With 10 Drugs in His System, Authorities Say

·5 min read
Arturo Holmes.Getty
Arturo Holmes.Getty

Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins had 10 different psychoactive substances in his body at the time of his death, according to Colombian authorities.

Semana magazine reports that local authorities confirmed the rocker “died from an overdose of heroin mixed with antidepressants and benzodiazepines.”

The Office of the Attorney General of Colombia released a statement that stopped short of categorizing his death as an overdose, but said toxicology tests preliminarily found 10 different substances, including THC (marijuana), tricyclic antidepressants, benzodiazepines and opioids.

The band announced Hawkins’ “untimely” passing late Friday, shocking fans across the world.

Hawkins was only 50 years old. “His musical spirit and infectious laughter will live on with all of us forever,” the group said in a statement on their official Twitter account.

“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,” the statement read. The band will no longer be performing their scheduled gig at the Festival Estéreo Picnic in Bogota, Colombia.

Local news reports said Hawkins was found dead in his hotel room at Hotel Casa Medina, and that judicial police and forensic investigators were at the scene.

Bogota’s Secretariat of Health said in a statement that an ambulance responded to an emergency call saying Hawkins was having “chest pains” but when they responded he was being worked on by other doctors.

The officials said he could not be revived and sent their condolences to his family.

“The District Secretariat of Health regrets the death of this talented and world-famous drummer and sends a message of condolences to his family, bandmates and fans,” it said.

Earlier, El Tiempo quoted Bogota police as saying the cause of death had yet to be determined, but that investigators were looking into whether “the consumption of narcotic substances” was involved. The newspaper later reported that hallucinogens had been found in the hotel room.

<div class="inline-image__caption"><p>Authorities transport Foo Fighters' drummer Taylor Hawkins body from a hotel in Bogota.</p></div> <div class="inline-image__credit">Juan Barreto/AFP via Getty</div>

Authorities transport Foo Fighters' drummer Taylor Hawkins body from a hotel in Bogota.

Juan Barreto/AFP via Getty

Last year, Hawkins spoke about his past battle with drugs after he overdosed on heroin in 2001 and landed in a weeks-long coma.

“Everyone has their own path and I took it too far. I was partying in London one night, and I mistakenly did something and it changed everything. I believed the bullshit myth of live hard and fast, die young,” he told Kerrang in 2021. “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. I was heading down a road that was going to lead to even worse paths.”

Whether someone’s sober, or they like a glass of wine with dinner, or they want a bottle of Jägermeister before they go onstage, or they like to smoke doobies all day long, everyone has their own path, and I took it too far. I’m glad it got knocked on the head at that point. I wouldn’t take anything away that I’ve done or been through either, because it’s all part of the trip and the journey. I’m trying to be as candid as I can be. I go mountain biking now,” he said.

<div class="inline-image__caption"><p>Taylor Hawkins performs at the 2021 iHeartRadio ALTer EGO.</p></div> <div class="inline-image__credit">Kevin Winter/Getty</div>

Taylor Hawkins performs at the 2021 iHeartRadio ALTer EGO.

Kevin Winter/Getty

Hawkins got his first taste of fame playing drums for Alanis Morissette, including on her song You Oughta Know.

“It was so much fun. I joined Alanis’ band and the single [You Oughta Know] came out and it just went fucking nuclear. Next thing you know, I’m in a video that’s on MTV every hour. That tour was very special, and I owe her a lot of gratitude,” he told Kerrang.

In 1997 he heard on the radio that the Foo Fighters’ drummer William Goldsmith had left the band and he “scrambled to get Dave’s number and called him.”

“I said, ‘I heard you guys are looking for a drummer,’ and he said, ‘Well, do you know any?’. I thought Alanis wanted to go in a more laid-back direction, and it seemed like the right time to jump. Alanis didn’t need me! I basically said to Dave, ‘I’ll play drums for you,’ and we jammed a couple of times. I remember I was at home watching [1995 erotic drama] Showgirls with my girlfriend, and Dave called to ask if I wanted to join.”

<div class="inline-image__title">166958754</div> <div class="inline-image__caption"><p>Taylor Hawkins and Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters speak on stage at the 28th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in 2013.</p></div> <div class="inline-image__credit">Kevin Winter</div>

Taylor Hawkins and Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters speak on stage at the 28th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in 2013.

Kevin Winter

Tributes immediately came pouring in for the rock legend from fans and fellow musicians, with Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello among the first to share his shock on Twitter.

“God bless you Taylor Hawkins. I loved your spirit and your unstoppable rock power. Rest In Peace my friend,” Morello tweeted.

Miley Cyrus announced on Instagram that she would be dedicating her next concert to the drummer.

Former Oasis rocker Liam Gallagher tweeted that he was “absolutely devastated to hear the sad news about Taylor Hawkins my thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends RIP brother LG x.”

Beatles drummer Ringo Starr also paid tribute to Hawkins.

“God bless Taylor peace and love to all his family and the band peace and love.”

Ozzy Osbourne followed suit, writing that Hawkins “was truly a great person and an amazing musician.”

“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,” he wrote.

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