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Elton John dedicates ‘Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me’ to Taylor Hawkins

"A true musician who loved all sorts of music, and loved life," John said of the late Foo Fighters drummer

By Tom Skinner

side-by-side images of Elton John and Foo Fighters' Taylor Hawkins
Elton John and late Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins. CREDIT: Wikimedia Commons

Elton John dedicated ‘Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me’ to the late Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins at a show in the US over the weekend – watch the footage below.

Hawkins died on Friday (March 25) at the age of 50. Confirming his death in a statement, Foo Fighters said they were “devastated by the tragic and untimely loss” of their bandmate.

“His musical spirit and infectious laughter will live on with all of us forever,” they continued. “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.”

Performing in Des Moines, Iowa on Saturday night (March 26) as part of his current ‘Farewell Yellow Brick Road’ world tour, John took a moment to honour Hawkins before playing his 1974 ballad ‘Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me’.

“I was so shocked because he played on my [2021 album] ‘Lockdown Sessions’,” John told the audience. “He was one of the nicest people you could have ever met, and one of the greatest drummers, and a true musician who loved all sorts of music, and loved life.”

He continued: “And it seems so sad that at 50 years of age we’ve lost someone that had that much passion. And it makes me so downhearted for his family and his three children, his wife, his other relatives, and of course the Foo Fighters have lost a dearest loved one that can never ever be replaced.

“His music will live on, but I can tell you he was a great, great guy.” You can watch fan-shot footage of the moment here:

Foo Fighters were on tour in South America and were scheduled to perform at Festival Estéreo Picnic in Bogotá, Colombia on the night of Hawkins’ death. No cause of death was given.

Since the news broke, many figures from the worlds of music and entertainment have shared messages of tribute and memories of Hawkins across social media.

“God bless you Taylor Hawkins. I loved your spirit and your unstoppable rock power,” wrote Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello, sharing a photo of himself and Hawkins alongside Jane’s Addiction’s Perry Farrell. “Rest In Peace my friend.”

Miley Cyrus, a noted Foo Fighters fan, posted a photograph of herself and Hawkins to her Instagram stories. “This is how I’ll always remember you,” she wrote, adding that her upcoming concert would be dedicated to him. Slash wrote that Hawkins’ death left him “devastated,” saying: “I’ve no words to express all the feelings I have about his passing.”

Former Dream Theater drummer Mike PortnoyOzzy Osbourneproducer Steve Albini and musician Finneas were among others who also shared tributes.

Elsewhere, Coldplay dedicated a stripped-back performance of ‘Everglow’ to Hawkins at a live show in Mexico on the night of the drummer’s death.

“We heard that a friend of ours in a great, great band called the Foo Fighters has passed away,” frontman Chris Martin told the crowd.

“We weren’t sure whether to talk about it in this concert but we have to because they’re our friends and we care about them. We feel like we should send love to the Foo Fighters, because we all knew Taylor, their drummer, who was a beautiful beautiful man, and so we’re gonna play this song for the Foo Fighters.”