Dusty Hill, who played bass for ZZ Top for more than five decades, has died at the age of 72.
Guitarist Billy Gibbons and drummer Frank Beard issued a statement on social media on Wednesday, but did not mention his cause of death.
“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 read. “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.’”
Earlier this month, Gibbons and Beard played without Hill for the first time in more than 50 years, saying that the bassist had sought medical help for a hip issue, according to Variety.
Elwood Francis, the band’s longtime guitar tech, filled in for Hill.
Hill, who was born Joe Michael Hill, joined ZZ Top in 1970, but the band first made a dent in the music world in the mid-70s with its classic rock staple, “Tush.”
Their star rose even higher in the early ’80s when the videos for hits like “Legs” and “Sharp Dressed Man” became popular on MTV.
Hill also appeared on the Fox animated sitcom, “King of the Hill,” in 2007 playing the cousin of Hank Hill, according to Ultimate Classic Rock.
News of Hill’s death inspired lots of Twitter tributes.
So sad to learn about Dusty Hill. RIP
— Peter Frampton (@peterframpton) July 28, 2021
Dusty Hill, @ZZTop bassist has passed away. He sang some great cuts, Heard it on the X, BD&HR (fans know) -but his rendidtion of Teddy Bear is just lo-down sick&awesome. RIP Dusty, a Texas iconhttps://t.co/TdJZysfgm6
— Kathy Valentine (@Kathy_Valentine) July 28, 2021
RIP Dusty Hill from ZZ TOP RS pic.twitter.com/vl3JmVg4AZ
— Ron Sexsmith (@RonSexsmith) July 28, 2021
RIP DUSTY HILL I love you forever. Your bass was so loud at one show it made my wife puke. You were half of rock n roll’s greatest EVER rhythm section & a hell of a songwriter. https://t.co/3WruUsejtl
— rob delaney (@robdelaney) July 28, 2021
So sad to hear about Dusty Hill. An all-time great bass player, and a rock and roll institution. Breaks my heart. @ZZTop
— Jason Isbell (@JasonIsbell) July 28, 2021
Ahhhh man, I love Dusty Hill. A true rocker. What a straight jammer https://t.co/k6L53JlhW6
— Flea (@flea333) July 28, 2021
Unless I'm misremembering, ZZ Top were the answer to a trivia question: What rock band has been around the longest, in its original lineup? They lasted 50 years, 1971 until this morning. That won't happen again. RIP Dusty Hill.
— Rob Tannenbaum (@tannenbaumr) July 28, 2021