Slash Pays Tribute To Taylor Hawkins At Orlando Concert: ‘We Lost A Really Close Friend’

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Slash paid tribute to Taylor Hawkins during his concert with SLASH FEATURING MYLES KENNEDY AND THE CONSPIRATORS in Orlando, Florida Saturday night (March 26), calling the late FOO FIGHTERS drummer “a great guy” and “a sweetheart.”

The 56-year-old GUNS N’ ROSES guitarist addressed Hawkins‘s tragic passing prior to launching into the song “Starlight” at Hard Rock Live. He told the audience: “I’m sure most of you are aware that we lost a really close friend of ours last night — Taylor Hawkins, the drummer of the FOO FIGHTERS. First of all, he was a great fucking guy — a fucking sweetheart. He was a really good friend and a kickass drummer. [We’re] completely crushed that we’ve lost him. So we wanna do a song tonight and dedicate it to him. So we’re gonna play something we haven’t played actually on this whole tour, but we’re gonna do it tonight. This is called ‘Starlight’.”

Hawkins died at a hotel in Bogota, Colombia on Friday (March 25). Local officials said an ambulance was sent to the hotel after a man reported having chest pains. The 50-year-old musician did not respond to resuscitation efforts and was declared dead, the city’s health department said.

Earlier on Saturday, the Colombian attorney general’s office announced that Hawkins had opioids, marijuana and other drugs in his system before he died. A toxicology report showed traces of 10 substances in his body, including anti-depressants, the office said. The statement added that the National Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences “will conduct the necessary medical studies to ascertain the cause of death” and that it “will continue the investigation and will report the results obtained within the framework thereof in a timely manner.”

The FOO FIGHTERS were scheduled to perform Friday at the Picnic Stereo festival in Bogota but their performance was canceled.

The band played Lollapalooza Chile on March 18 and Lollapalooza Argentina on March 20. They are scheduled to headline Lollapalooza Brasil on Sunday (March 27).

Born in Fort Worth, Texas, Hawkins joined FOO FIGHTERS in 1997. Prior to that, he played with the Orange County band SYLVIA and was also in the backing band for Sass Jordan. He also toured with Alanis Morissette as her drummer.

Hawkins was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame last year as a member of the FOO FIGHTERS.

Hawkins‘s most recent work with FOO FIGHTERS included last year’s “Medicine At Midnight” album, a collection of BEE GEES covers and FOO FIGHTERS‘ horror film “Studio 666”.

Hawkins‘s solo project TAYLOR HAWKINS AND THE COATTAIL RIDERS released its first album in 2006, and a follow-up effort, “Get The Money”, in 2019. Other side projects included THE BIRDS OF SATAN and the classic rock cover band CHEVY METAL. More recently, he formed the supergroup NHC with JANE’S ADDICTION members Dave Navarro and Chris Chaney.

Hawkins is survived by his wife Alison, whom he married in 2005, and their three children: Oliver Shane, Annabelle and Everleigh.

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