The show featured a compilation of photos and video footage from Hawkins’s career as a charismatic drummer known for his wide smile. Hawkins, who joined Foo Fighters in the ’90s, died at age 50. The band was scheduled to perform at the awards ceremony but pulled out after Hawkins’s death.
Earlier in the night, Billie Eilish paid tribute to Hawkins when she performed in a T-shirt with the drummer’s image on it while singing her song “Happier Than Ever.”
After the tribute to Hawkins, a quartet of musical-theater performers honored other musical luminaries who have died over the past year, including Stephen Sondheim, the iconic Broadway composer and lyricist who died in November. Singing a compilation of Sondheim songs, including “Send In the Clowns” and “Somewhere” were Ben Platt, Cynthia Erivo, Leslie Odom Jr. and Rachel Zegler, who played Maria in the recent Steven Spielberg-directed film adaptation of “West Side Story.”