Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Chad Smith Honors Taylor Hawkins at VMAs
The Chili Peppers were given this year’s Global Icon Award, an honor which was bestowed on Foo Fighters during the 2021 ceremony. As Red Hot Chili Peppers tore through a pair of songs -- recent single “Black Summer” and classic hit “Can’t Stop” -- Smith performed on a drum kit that featured Hawkins' distinctive hawk logo, along with “Taylor” on the bass drum.
As Smith took the mic for his portion of the band’s acceptance speech, he again paid tribute to his departed friend.
“There’s another musical icon -- global icon -- and his name is my brother Taylor Hawkins,” Smith declared. “And I wanna dedicate this to Taylor and his family. I love them, and I miss him every day. Fly on, Hawk.”
Hawkins was found dead on March 25 prior to the Foo Fighters' scheduled performance in Bogota, Colombia. Smith has honored his the late-musician on several occasions since then, including during his speech when the Red Hot Chili Peppers received their star of the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Smith was also involved in a controversial report from Rolling Stone that alleged Hawkins had been "exhausted" by the Foo Fighters' schedule. The Chili Peppers drummer was quoted in the story, saying that Hawkins "had a real important heart-to-heart with Dave [Grohl] and the management." Smith later expressed regret over his involvement in the piece. "I was asked by Rolling Stone to talk about Taylor for a tribute article and I certainly didn’t expect it to be a piece about his last days," the drummer explained via statement. "Had I known that, I never would have talked to the magazine, and I apologize for any pain my participation in the article may have caused his family and his musical friends. I miss him every day."
Two star-studded tribute concerts are set to honor Hawkins. The first will take place Sept. 3 in London, while the second is scheduled for Sept. 27 in Los Angeles. Smith is among the artists participating in the LA show.