The eardrum-pounding, nearly six-hour extravaganza at the Kia Forum lived up to the billing.
Miley Cyrus joined Def Leppard; Pink performed with Queen and Heart's Nancy Wilson; Mötley Crüe’s Nikki Sixx sang as a shirtless Tommy Lee ferociously beat the drums. Joan Jett; Kesha; Alanis Morissette; Travis Barker; Joe Walsh and the reunited James Gang; Soundgarden, The Police's Stewart Copeland; and Metallica's Lars Ulrich all took to the stage to pay musical respects to Hawkins.
Jack Black, wearing Hawkins-style board shorts, enthusiastically introduced a reunited Rush, and Dave Chappelle surprised the audience to sing "Creep."
"Taylor was friends with every (expletive) musician on earth," Grohl said from the stage. "Just so you know there's like 15 drummers in the house tonight. Taylor was friends with them all."
Grohl called his "brother" and bandmate "a musicologist. He knew more about music than anyone I know."
Hawkins, 50, was found dead March 25 in a Bogotá, Colombia, hotel, hours before Foo Fighters was scheduled to perform in concert. A toxicology report indicated the presence of 10 substances in his body, including benzodiazepines and opioids.
The first tribute concert took place Sept. 3 at London’s Wembley Stadium, featuring rockers Liam Gallagher, Chrissie Hynde, Barker and Paul McCartney. The Los Angeles concert raised money for Musicares and Music Support charities and served as a farewell party for Hawkins' adopted hometown.
"I have to say, this concert compared to the London concert, this (expletive) rocks harder," Grohl told the crowd.
Grohl’s 16-year-old daughter, Violet, kicked the concert off with a stirring rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah," accompanied by Alain Johannes on electric guitar. Jett followed with rockin' versions of "Cherry Bomb" and "Bad Reputation," with the Foo Fighters backing and Barker on drums.
Kesha performed David Bowie’s “Heroes” in a sparkling silver cape and said she had a stage wardrobe malfunction with her top during the performance.
"Not to make light of this situation," Kesha said, "but Taylor would have loved that."
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Cyrus made an unintroduced entrance, but stood out with her oversize sunglasses and peroxide blonde hair, matching Def Leppard singer Joe Elliott as they performed a powerful version of "Photograph." As the song closed, Cyrus said, "I love you, Taylor Hawkins," before leaving the stage.
Morissette, who gave Hawkins his first real rock gig, prowled the stage performing "You Oughta Know." The singer did not reflect on Hawkins, but shared a long hug with Grohl before exiting.
Matt Cameron and Kim Thayil from Soundgarden and Nirvana’s Krist Novoselic performed "The Day I Tried to Live" and "Black Hole Sun," with lead vocals coming from Pretty Reckless singer Taylor Momsen (former star of TV's "Gossip Girl").
Pink joined Queen's Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor to front "Somebody to Love," the anthem that Hawkins used to perform in Foo Fighters’ concerts. May closed his set performing a solo acoustic version of the Freddie Mercury song "Love of My Life" on a stool.
"I wasn't going to play this tonight," May said, adding that Hawkins' wife, Alison, had personally requested the song, which was special to the couple.
After May finished the song, Alison Hawkins walked onstage with the couples' three children, Shane, Annabelle and Everleigh, and waved to the cheering crowd.
Drummer Shane, 16, joined the Foo Fighters onstage to perform "My Hero" and "I’ll Stick Around." Grohl ended the concert with "Everlong," with Chad Smith on drums.
"This one's for Taylor," Grohl told the audience. "We love you."
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Taylor Hawkins tribute concert LA: Miley Cyrus, Pink join rock heroes