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Foo Fighters perform an emotional tribute concert for drummer Taylor Hawkins

Musician Taylor Hawkins attends the Open Road's premiere of "Studio 666" in February. Hawkins died in March at the age of 50.
Valerie Macon
AFP via Getty Images
Musician Taylor Hawkins attends the Open Road's premiere of "Studio 666" in February. Hawkins died in March at the age of 50.

At the end of the Foo Fighters concert Friday night in London, frontman Dave Grohl ordered the crowd to make some noise — but not as a way to wrap up the show.

"Let's hear it one more time for Taylor f****** Hawkins as loud as you can," Grohl shouted. "We love you Taylor!"

The performance at Wembley Stadium was the first of two tribute concerts dedicated for Hawkins, the late Foo Fighters drummer who died in March at the age of 50.

Sir Paul McCartney, Queen and AC/DC were featured in the lineup, but the most heartwarming appearance came from Hawkins' 16-year-old-son, Shane, who played the drums in honor of his father.

"All of these amazing people came here tonight for one reason, it was to celebrate the life of Taylor Hawkins," Grohl said at the show.

Hawkins died in Bogota, Colombia, where the band was scheduled to perform. No cause of death was announced, although a toxicology report showed traces of several substances in his body, the BBC reported. Investigators have not determined whether that was a factor in his death.

The rock group canceled its upcoming tour dates following Hawkins' passing — making Friday's performance the band's first show in months.

Hawkins' impact in rock music

Hawkins was born in Fort Worth, Texas, but grew up in Laguna Beach, Calif. He picked up drumming at age 10 and quickly knew he wanted to play professionally.

The drummer had been part of Foo Fighters since 1997. With Hawkins' help, the band went on to win 12 Grammy Awards and scored four No. 1 hits on the Billboard charts. In 2021, the group was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

"Foo Fighters carry the torch of rock authenticity with infectious hooks, in-your-face guitar riffs, monster drums, and boundless energy," the organization wrote.

Grohl described Hawkins as his "best friend" in a 2007 interview on Fresh Air.

"We're close personally, but then we're also connected by this love and understanding of rhythm and drums," he said. "When we're writing songs, you know, I might request something or I might try to steer in a direction, but for the most part, the guy — he doesn't need me to tell him what to do because he's an incredible drummer."

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Juliana Kim
Juliana Kim is a weekend reporter for Digital News, where she adds context to the news of the day and brings her enterprise skills to NPR's signature journalism.