Hawkins was known as a singer and lead guitarist of the band The Darkness, which he founded together with his brother Dan Hawkins. Since 2005, he also runs his solo project British Whale. Hawkins sings at The Darkness with a distinctive falsetto voice to the glam rock and hard rock of the 1970s and 1980s ajar music. In 2006 he left the band, reason was, inter alia, his many years of drug addiction. Since 2011, Hawkins is active again with The Darkness.
In 2009 he brought out the album Red Light Fever with his new glam rock band Hot Leg. Most recently, he was also involved in the album Hang Cool Teddy Bear by Meat Loaf, for which he co-wrote two pieces and took over guitar and background vocals on each one of these two pieces. In addition, Hawkins took a verse and backing vocals on the song "Party all day ( F ** k all night ) " by the band Steel Panther on their album "Feel the Steel" ( 2009).