The staff at The Big Lead are reeling from the devastating news that Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins has died suddenly at the age of 50. The band members announced the news on their Twitter account Friday night, shocking the music world.
Hawkins had been the Foo Fighters' drummer since 1997, joining the band shortly after its founding in 1995. Before that he was the touring drummer for Alanis Morissette and Sass Jordan. While he was mostly known for his energetic work at the back of the stage, Hawkins wasn't just a drummer. The man was also a fantastic singer.
He has backed up Dave Grohl's vocals with the Foo Fighters since joining the band, but occasionally he'd step out front and become the lead singer while Grohl would go back to his roots as a drummer. What follows are a few videos of Hawkins showing off his voice. In each of these, he proves he could have just as easily become a front man in his own right.
In 2008, the Foo Fighters broke out blistering sets on two nights at Wembley Stadium in London. In this video, Hawkins takes the mic for a rendition of Led Zeppelin's "Rock And Roll" featuring some help from Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones.
In June of 2021, Hawkins stepped up and performed Queen's "Somebody to Love" with his bandmates at The Canyon in Agoura Hills, California.
At Voodoo Fest 28 in New Orleans in October 2017, Hawkins joined Dave Grohl on vocals for a rendition of Queen's "Under Pressure" while Rufus Taylor took over on drums.
In 2011 at the iTunes festival, Brian May and Roger Taylor of Queen joined the Foo Fighters on stage in London to perform "Tie Your Mother Down" as the show's encore. Hawkins took the mic to lead the way.
In 2014, the Foo Fighters spent a week in residency on The Late Show with David Letterman to promote their album "Sonic Highways." One of the performances that week stood out above the rest, as Hawkins stepped out front and the band performed Cheap Trick's "Stiff Competition" with an assist from Rick Nielsen.
Hawkins had some serious pipes but more than that, his infectious energy boosted all those around him. He was an incredible drummer, an excellent singer and the heart and soul of one of the best rock and roll bands we've ever seen.
Rest in peace Mr. Hawkins. You will be missed and won't be forgotten.