Sunday night (March 27) was a time to celebrate for Billie Eilish and her brother/collaborator Finneas. The pair won their first best original song Academy Award for the James Bond theme “No Time to Die,” as well as performing the moody ballad on the broadcast. But earlier in the night on the red carpet, they both reflected on the deep impact of Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins’ death at age 50.
“It was incredibly heartbreaking,” Eilish told Access Hollywood‘s Scott Evans and Zuri Hall on the carpet outside the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. “It was right before we went on stage. And we got the news and it really, really tore us all apart. It’s horribly, horribly tragic.”
Eilish performed at Pledge Arena in Seattle, Washington on Friday, the same night the world learned that Hawkins was found dead in his hotel room in Bogotá, Colombia, where the band was originally scheduled to perform at the city’s Festival Estéreo Picnic. On Saturday evening, the Attorney General’s Office of Colombia reported that a urine toxicology test had found traces of 10 types of substances in his system, including THC (marijuana), tricyclic antidepressants, benzodiazepines and opioids.
Finneas also paid tribute to the beloved drummer, known for his always-present smile, loose, joyful playing and symbiotic relationship with Foos frontman Dave Grohl. “Taylor was such a legendary player. We were admirers of his work years before we got to meet him,” Finneas told the Access crew. “And we only met him a handful of times… I wish we got to spend more time with him, but he couldn’t have been a kinder, cooler, more generous person as well. And such a deeply inspiring person. We’re just heartbroken.”
The band announced Hawkins’ death in a statement, writing, “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 on with all of us forever. 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.”
That spirit was honored on Monday night when SiriusXM hosted a tribute special to Hawkins, following an outpouring of grief from the drummer’s musical friends and compatriots, as well as live tributes from Elton John, Slash, Miley Cyrus and Coldplay, among others.
Check out the interview below.