Saturday’s concert was the first time the band had performed together since Hawkins’ death.
According to Britain’s PA Media news agency, Dave Grohl, one of the leaders of the Foo Fighters, weeping, told the crowd at London’s Wembley Stadium: “Taylor liked to jam and record with anyone and everyone. He loved playing music every day. And there aren’t many people who haven’t either. He’s been involved with them before. So this group of friends, family, musicians, he brought it all together, and we’re all connected here today by that person.”
The family theme was present throughout the show. Sixteen-year-old Oliver Shane Hawkins joined his father’s band to give a powerful performance of the Foo Fighters song “My Hero”.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we have another drummer to come and play with us,” Grohl said as he welcomed Ben Hawkins onto the stage. “And let me tell you I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone hit the drums as hard as this guy, but then, he’s a member of our family. And he should be here tonight with all of us, and I think it makes sense that he’d come and play with us tonight.”
Some of the biggest names in music have turned to honor Hawkins including Queens Roger Taylor, Brian May, Rush, AC/DC singer Brian Johnson and Neil Rodgers. The celebration was joined by Chrissy Hynd, pop star Keisha, Eurovision sensation Sam Ryder, and The Darkness frontman Justin Hawkins.
In a pre-recorded message, Elton described John Hawkins as an “amazing drummer” and reminded him of “playing my last album, which I was thrilled and honored to be.”
“Tonight is about remembering him, honoring him, and never forgetting him,” John added, according to the PA.
Comedians Dave Chappelle and Jason Sudeikis also took to the stage to tell tales of their connection to Hawkins’ music.
Joining the Foo Fighters in 1997, Hawkins made his debut with the band on tour in support of their second album, “The Color and the Shape”.
CNN’s Chloe Millas contributed to this story.
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