Obituary

ZZ Top's Dusty Hill Dead: Longtime Bassist Dies at 72

Dusty Hill
Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

Dusty Hill of ZZ Top performs at City National Civic on January 13, 2019 in San Jose, California.

ZZ Top's longtime bassist Dusty Hill has died, the band announced in a statement shared with Billboard on Wednesday (July 28). 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," the group shared. "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.'"

"You will be greatly missed, amigo," bandmates Billy Gibbons and Frank Beard concluded in their statement.

The Texas band was on tour when it announced July 23 that Hill, who joined the band in 1970, was heading home "to address a hip issue." Per ZZ Top's Facebook page, Hill had said that "the show must go on," and so their guitar tech of 20 years, Elwood Francis, filled in to play slide guitar, bass, and harmonica. The band's statement noted at the time that they were expecting Hill to have a "speedy recovery" and to return to the band soon.

The band's U.S. tour is currently scheduled to run through the end of the year, with the final show set for Dec. 12 in Midland, Texas.

ZZ Top has landed seven albums on the Billboard 200's top 10: Tres Hombres at No. 8 in 1974, Fandango! at No. 10 in 1975, Eliminator at No. 9 in 1983, Afterburner at No. 4 in 1985, Recycler at No. 6 in 1990, Greatest Hits at No. 9 in 1992, and La Futura at No. 6 in 2012. ZZ Top received the Moonman for best group video for "Legs" at the first MTV Video Music Awards in September 1984. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004. They received three Grammy nominations -- for their 1980s albums Eliminator and Afterburner (both nominated for best rock performance by a duo or group with vocal) and for their 2020 film That Little Ol' Band From Texas (best music film).