The drummer with US rock group Foo Fighters, Taylor Hawkins, has died aged 50, the band have announced. The band said they were "devastated by the tragic and untimely loss" in a statement on social media. No cause of death has been given.

Hawkins played with Foo Fighters for more than two decades, joining shortly after they finished making their 1997 album The Colour and the Shape. The band are currently on tour in South America.


"His musical spirit and infectious laughter will live with us forever," Foo Fighters wrote. "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."

Foo Fighters were formed in 1994 by Dave Grohl, after his previous group Nirvana disbanded following the suicide of lead singer Kurt Cobain. While Grohl drummed for Nirvana, he took on lead vocals and guitar in Foo Fighters, and so Hawkins had the daunting task of drumming in a group founded by one of the most celebrated drummers in rock.

"I was a little nervous at first, but I got over that," he said soon after joining.

"Any instance where you're auditioning for something, you're going to be nervous. But no-one can play better than Dave Grohl. He just has this vision in his head."

The two sometimes swapped roles during the band's concerts, with Hawkins taking on vocals. After news of his death was announced many fans shared clips of him singing Queen's Somebody to Love.

Before joining Foo Fighters, Hawkins drummed for Alanis Morissette. While visiting London in 2001, he took an overdose of heroin and spent two weeks in a coma.

Speaking about the experience in 2018, he said that it had been a real changing point for me. The band had been due to perform on Friday night at the Estereo Picnic festival in Bogota, Colombia.

The US embassy in Bogota expressed its condolences to the drummer's family, friends and fans.

He had opioids, marijuana and other drugs in his system before he died, Colombian investigators say. He was 50.