Police in Colombia are investigating after the death of rocker Taylor Hawkins, 50, long-time drummer for the Foo Fighters whose body was found in a hotel room.
There were no immediate details about how Hawkins died, with the band saying in a statement that his death was a “tragic and untimely loss”.
Foo Fighters were on tour in South America. They played a festival in San Isidro, Argentina, on Sunday and had been scheduled to play at another in Bogota, Colombia on Friday night.
“His musical spirit and infectious laughter will live on with all of us forever,” said a message on the band’s 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.”
After Foo Fighters founder and front man Dave Grohl, Hawkins was probably the most prominent member of the group, appearing alongside Grohl in interviews and playing prominent roles in the band’s videos.
Fellow musicians have paid tribute his “incredible talent” and hailed Hawkins as a “generous and cool person” as well as being an “amazing musician” and “unstoppable rock power”.
Miley Cyrus, who was part of the line-up alongside Foo Fighters at the Estereo Picnic festival in Bogota, Columbia, said she would dedicate her Saturday show to him.
“My favourite memory of Taylor is dancing round the drum kit while he played this song …” she posted on story, with a picture of Pretenders song Brass In Pocket.
“Playing it on repeat, imagining us laughing forever.”
Members of rock band Nickelback said they were in “utter disbelief” at the news.
“Our deepest condolences to his family, his bandmates, his team, his friends and everyone that was ever touched by the music he created with @foofighters @Alanis and so many others,” the band tweeted.
Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello praised Hawkins’ “unstoppable rock power” in his own online tribute.
“I loved your spirit and your unstoppable rock power. Rest In Peace my friend.”
Former Beatles drummer Ringo Starr also expressed his condolences and wished “peace and love” for those close to Hawkins.
British rocker Ozzy Osbourne praised Taylor Hawkins as a “great person and an amazing musician” and promised to “see him on the other side”.
Movie’s chilling prophecy
Hawkins starred in Foo Fighters‘ recently released horror-comedy film Studio 666 in which a demonic force in a house the band is staying in seizes Grohl and fills his heart with a lust for murder.
Hawkins and other members of the band — Pat Smear, Rami Jaffee, Chris Shiflett and Nate Mendel — are killed off one by one.
The film allowed the group, who for decades have been one of rock music’s most durable acts, to have fun while acting out a long-running joke.
The film’s premise came out of work on their 10th studio album at a home in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley.
Hawkins was Foo Fighters‘ drummer for 25 of the band’s 28 years of existence, taking over from original drummer William Goldsmith in 1997.
Born Oliver Taylor Hawkins in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1972, Hawkins was raised in Laguna Beach, California.
He played in the small Southern California band Sylvia before landing his first major gig as a drummer for Canadian singer Sass Jordan.
He spent the mid-1990s as the touring drummer for singer-songwriter Alanis Morissette before Grohl asked him to join the Foo Fighters.
It is the second time Grohl has experienced the death of a close bandmate. He was the drummer for Nirvana when Kurt Cobain died in 1994.
Hawkins is survived by his wife Alison and their three children.