Taylor Hawkins, the longtime drummer for the rock band Foo Fighters, has died. He was 50.
There were no immediate details about how Taylor died, though the band said in a statement Friday that his death was a "tragic and untimely loss." Foo Fighters were on tour in South America. They played at a festival in San Isidro, Argentina on Sunday and had been scheduled to play at another in Bogotá, 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 that 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 in this unimaginably difficult time," it further read.
After Foo Fighters founder and frontman Dave Grohl, Taylor was probably the most prominent member of the group, appearing alongside Dave in interviews and playing prominent roles in the band's videos.
He also 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 Dave and makes him murderous. In the film, Taylor and other members of the band, Pat Smear, Rami Jaffee, Chris Shiflett, 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.
Taylor was Foo Fighters' drummer for 25 of the band's 28 years of existence, taking over for original drummer William Goldsmith in 1997.
Born Oliver Taylor Hawkins in Fort Worth, Texas in 1972, he 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 then spent the mid-1990s as the touring drummer for Alanis Morissette before Dave Grohl asked him to join the Foo Fighters. Taylor Hawkins is survived by his wife Alison and their three children.