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Dave Grohl broke down in tears on stage while singing “Times Like These” during the Taylor Hawkins Tribute concert at Wembley Stadium in London on Saturday.
The 53-year-old Foo Fighters frontman was performing with his band at the star-studded event which paid tribute to their late bandmate, who died suddenly in March at the age of 50.
“It’s times like these that you learn to live again,” Grohl sang, hanging on to the mic as tears streamed down his face.
“It’s times like these that you give and give back,” he continued, his voice cracking on the last two words of the lyrics.
TAYLOR HAWKINS TO BE HONORED AT TRIBUTE CONCERT PLANNED BY FOO FIGHTERS
The 18-time Grammy Award winner stopped and wiped his face as the audience erupted in cheers of support. For a few moments he struggled to continue the performance before resting his forehead on the microphone and shaking his head.
Grohl pulled himself together, though he was visibly overwhelmed with emotion. He started singing again before launching into the next upbeat part of the 2002 hit as he rocked out with his bandmates. The poignant moment was quickly shared in clips fans posted to Twitter.
Saturday’s six-hour gig featured an all-star line-up that included Dave Chappelle, Elton John, Paul McCartney, Jason Sudeikis, Liam Gallagher and Travis Barker, among others, as some of the biggest names in music lined up gathered to celebrate the life of the late drummer.
It was the first of two tribute concerts that surviving members of the band and Hawkins’ family have planned to honor him. The second concert will take place on September 27 at the Kia Forum in Los Angeles. Proceeds from both concerts will be donated to the charities Music Support and MusiCares.
According to NME, Grohl started the evening with a moving speech after the audience began chanting Hawkins’ name, telling the crowd, “Ladies and gentlemen, tonight we have gathered here to celebrate life, music and the love of our dear friend, our teammate, our brother Taylor Hawkins.”
“For those of you who knew him personally, you know no one else could make you smile, laugh, dance or sing like him,” the hitmaker continued. “And for those of you who admired him from afar, I’m sure you all felt the same way.”
Grohl added, “So tonight we’ve come together with his closest family and friends, his musical heroes and his biggest inspirations, to give you a gigantic fucking night for a gigantic fucking person.”
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“So sing. And dance. And laugh. And cry and scream and make a fucking noise, so he can hear us right away,” he added. “Because you know what? It’s going to be a fucking long night, isn’t it? Are you ready?”
Hawkins died March 25 at the Four Seasons Casa Medina hotel in Bogotá, Colombia, hours before the Foo Fighters’ scheduled performance at the Estéreo Picnic Festival. Emergency services were called to the hotel after he began to experience chest pains. He was found unconscious when they arrived and pronounced dead at the scene.
Colombia’s attorney general’s office announced the next day that ten different substances had been found in a preliminary urine toxicology test, including opioids, benzodiazepines, THC and tricyclic antidepressants. An official cause of death has yet to be released.
Besides being bandmates, Grohl and Hawkins shared an extremely close friendship. The musician called Hawkins “my brother from another mother, my best friend, a man I’d take a bullet for,” in his 2021 memoir “The Storyteller.”
Following his death, the band released a statement on Twitter which read, “The Foo Fighters family is devastated by the tragic and untimely loss of our beloved Taylor Hawkins.”
“His musical spirit and infectious laughter will live with us all forever. Our thoughts are with his wife, children and family, and we ask that their privacy be treated with the utmost respect at this incredibly difficult time.”
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The band subsequently canceled all scheduled gigs in order to mourn the loss of Hawkins. Saturday’s concert marked the Foo Fighters’ first performance since Hawkins’ death.