The Red Hot Chili Peppers Win Global Icon Award, Remember Taylor Hawkins

The Red Hot Chili Peppers were honored as this year’s Global Icon Award winners at the 2022 Video Music Awards on Sunday night (August 28), securing their first VMA performance in over two decades. During the band’s acceptance speech, drummer Chad Smith remembered his late colleague and friend, Taylor Hawkins.

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“There’s another musical icon, global icon, and his name is my brother Taylor Hawkins,” Smith said after taking the mic from frontman Anthony Kiedis. “I want to dedicate this to Taylor and his family. I love them, and I miss him every day. Fly on, Hawk. Fly on, brother.”

The Chili Peppers were presented with their award by the legendary comedy duo Cheech & Chong. Kiedis, Smith, John Frusciante, and Flea took the stage soon after their introduction with a rendition of “Black Summer,” as Kiedis ran around the stage with characteristic energy.

Later, the legendary rockers performed their seminal 2002 hit “Can’t Stop” from By the Way, as Flea banged his head along to the ripping bass line. Check out the performance below.

Following the lively performance, Cheech & Chong came back on stage to bring the group their trophy ahead of the band’s speech.

“I also want to thank planet Earth and the people of planet Earth for listening and caring and paying attention to what we do. It’s a blessing. But really, really, really, really, really, I want to thank Flea and John and Chad fucking Smith for giving me a purpose in my life for the last 40 years,” said Kiedis. “I would have been a free-floating disaster in space if not for these boys. So thank you, boys, for giving me something to do with my life and love.”

Not surprisingly, Flea’s speech took the prize for the weirdest of the night. He said, “I love cockroaches and dirt and trees and every human being in the [bleep covered it]. And fishing, and deers, and deer antlers, and birds, and the sky and love. And everything that isn’t love is cowardice. I love you.”

The Chili Peppers last appeared on the VMA stage back in 2000, when they were recipients of that year’s prestigious Video Vanguard Award and performed “Californication.”

The Global Icon Award celebrates “an artist or band whose unparalleled career, continued impact, and influence has maintained a unique level of global success in music and beyond, leaving an indelible mark on the music landscape.” The Foo Fighters won the honor in 2021.

(Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Live Nation)

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