Dusty Hill, the bearded bassist with American blues-rock band ZZ Top, has died, according to the band’s official website. He was 72.
“We are saddened by the news today that our Compadre, Dusty Hill, has passed away in his sleep at home in Houston, TX,” the statement, from surviving members Frank Beard and Billy Gibbons, said. “We, along with legions of ZZ Top fans around the world, will miss your steadfast presence, your good nature and enduring commitment to providing that monumental bottom to the ‘Top’.”
The band was formed in 1969. Hill joined not long after, staying with ZZ Top for more than five decades, until his death. Hill performed alongside Beard and Gibbons and together they went on to have a string of hits and put out 15 studio albums. Among their most famous hits are “La Grange,” “Tush” and “Gimme All Your Lovin’.”
Hill was born in Dallas, and after trying to break into the music scene there, he eventually moved to Houston, where he met Gibbons.
Last week, the band’s official site shared that Hill was being sidelined due to a “hip issue.”
The band’s longtime guitar tech, Elwood Francis, stepped in for Hill.
“Per Dusty’s request, ‘The show must go on!” the band had written in a statement.
Although Gibbons was the lead vocalist for most of the band’s songs, Hill stepped up to sing “Tush,” an early hit. The band was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.
You may have even seen him on screen in various appearances such as “Back to the Future Part III” and on “Deadwood.”
“You will be missed greatly, amigo,” Beard’s and Gibbons’s statement added.