One of the original founding members of Texas blues rock band ZZ Top passed away in his sleep at the age of 72.
Dusty Hill, the group’s Dallas-born bassist, formed the band with singer and guitarist Billy Gibbons and drummer Frank Beard in 1969, and they performed together for more than five decades.
“We are saddened by the news today that our Compadre, Dusty Hill, has passed away in his sleep at home in Houston, TX,” Gibbons and Beard wrote on Facebook. “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’. We will forever be connected to that ‘Blues Shuffle in C.’”
Last Friday the band issued a statement that Hill was suffering from a hip issue and reportedly had to skip his first show since 1969.
“The members of ZZ Top, Billy, and Frank, would like to share that Dusty, their fearless Bass player, is on a short detour back to Texas, to address a hip issue,” the band posted. “They await a speedy recovery and have him back pronto. Per Dusty’s request “The show must go on!””
ZZ Top released their first full-length album in 1971, and rose to prominence with radio hits “La Grange” and “Cheap Sunglasses,” but became wildly successful in the 1980s when their album Eliminator topped Billboard charts for 183 weeks with pop singles “Gimme All Your Lovin’,” “Sharp Dressed Man,” and “Legs.”
The band went on to sell 50 million records and was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2004 by Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards. Their upcoming sixteenth album will be Hill’s final with the group.
Tributes have poured in from fellow musicians, actors, politicians, and commentators.
Very sad to hear of the passing of @zztop bass player and co-lead singer Dusty Hill. Legendary musician and all around great dude that has gone too soon! He will be sorely missed. Deepest condolences to his family, friends and fans. #RIPDustyHill pic.twitter.com/fTmXofqV9G
— Travis Tritt (@Travistritt) July 29, 2021
WOW! Dusty Hill. What an icon. @ZZTop ’s bassist forever. So unique. Always a gentleman from the days of us opening for them through the recent days of them opening for us. I don’t know what to say but “Thank you” and “Rest however you damn well choose!” https://t.co/tHfjLy1xbj
— Paul Stanley (@PaulStanleyLive) July 28, 2021
Today we lost a great friend and a remarkable Texan.
ZZ Top’s Bassist Dusty Hill Dead at 72
Truly a music legend. https://t.co/VVkJ67E7lN
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) July 28, 2021
Just devastated to hear of the death of Dusty Hill. We knew each other since high school, when my then-boyfriend was the drummer in 1 of Dusty’s early bands w his brother, Rocky. Spent many an evening at those early gigs together. RIPDusty #RIPDustyHill pic.twitter.com/HMmwv95s3Y
— Morgan Fairchild (@morgfair) July 28, 2021
No! It cannot be. I’m so sad. RIP Dusty Hill. Bri https://t.co/0mLeSWvdCp
— Dr. Brian May (@DrBrianMay) July 29, 2021
The Doors team is saddened to hear about the passing of @ZZTop's Dusty Hill. RIP.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images. pic.twitter.com/5VbuySEx3o
— The Doors (@TheDoors) July 28, 2021
— Garbage (@garbage) July 28, 2021
A legend. May he Rest In Peace and rock the heavens. https://t.co/Ds1sGSIREm
— Dan Rather (@DanRather) July 29, 2021