There were no immediate details on how Hawkins died, although the band said in a statement his death was a “tragic and untimely loss.”
“His musical spirit and infectious laugh will live on in all of us forever,” read a message on the band’s official Twitter account, which was also emailed to reporters.
“Our hearts go out to his wife, children and family and we ask that their privacy be treated with the utmost respect at this unimaginably difficult time.”
After Foo Fighters founder and frontman Dave Grohl, Hawkins was probably the most prominent member of the group, appearing alongside Grohl in interviews and featuring prominently in the band’s videos.
He also starred in the recently released Foo Fighters horror comedy Studio 666, in which a demonic force takes hold of Grohl in a house where the band resides and turns him into a murderer.
Hawkins and other members of the band, Pat Smear, Rami Jaffee, Chris Shiflett, Nate Mendel are killed one by one. The film allowed the group, which has been among rock music’s most enduring acts for decades, to have fun while acting out a long-running joke.
The film’s premise arose from her work on her 10th studio album in a home in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles.
Hawkins served as Foo Fighters drummer for 25 of the band’s 28 year existence, taking over from original drummer William Goldsmith in 1997.
Hawkins was born Oliver Taylor Hawkins in Fort Worth, Texas in 1972 and grew up in Laguna Beach, California. He played in the small Southern California band Sylvia before getting his first big gig as a drummer for Canadian singer Sass Jordan. He then spent the mid-1990s as the touring drummer for Alanis Morissette before Grohl asked him to join the Foo Fighters.
It’s the second time Grohl has witnessed the death of a close bandmate. Grohl was Nirvana’s drummer when Kurt Cobain died in 1994.
Hawkins is survived by his wife Alison and their three children.
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