Saturday’s concert will be the band’s first performance together since Hawkins’ death.
According to the UK’s PA Media news agency, a tearful Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl told the crowd at London’s Wembley Stadium: “Taylor wanted to jam and record with anyone and everyone. He wanted to play music every day. Not even that. A lot of people he never got involved with. So these friends. And a collection of family and musicians, all brought together by him, the one by whom we are all connected here today.”
The theme of family was ever present throughout the show. Sixteen-year-old Oliver Shane Hawkins joins his father’s band for a powerful rendition of the Foo Fighters song “My Hero.”
“Ladies and gentlemen, we have one more drummer that’s going to come and play with us,” Grohl said as he welcomed Hawkins’ son to the stage. “And I’ll tell you, I’ve never seen anybody drum as hard as this guy, but beyond that, he’s a member of our family. And I think it makes sense that he should be here tonight with all of us, and that he’s going to come and play with us tonight.”
Some of the biggest names in music came out to honor Hawkins, including Queen’s Roger Taylor and Brian May, Rush, AC/DC singer Brian Johnson and Nile Rodgers. The Pretenders’ Chrissy Hynde, pop star Kesha, Eurovision sensation Sam Ryder and The Darkness frontman Justin Hawkins were also in attendance.
In a pre-recorded message, Elton called John Hawkins “an incredible drummer” and recalled “playing on my last album.
“Tonight is about remembering him, honoring him and never forgetting him,” John added, according to PA.
Comedians Dave Chappelle and Jason Sudeikis also took to the stage to tell stories about their relationship with Hawkins’ music.
Hawkins joined Foo Fighters in 1997, first appearing with the band on tour in support of their sophomore album, “The Color and the Shape”.
CNN’s Chloe Melas contributed to this story.