Dusty Hill, best known as the bassist and secondary lead vocalist of the American rock group ZZ Top, passed away Wednesday at the age of 72.
Hill’s bandmates Billy Gibbons and Frank Beard confirmed the news of his death in a statement on Instagram, revealing that he died in his sleep. There are no further details on the cause of death.
The statement read, “We are saddened by the news today that our Compadre, Dusty Hill, has passed away in his sleep at home in Houston, TX.”
“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,’” it added. “We will forever be connected to that ‘Blues Shuffle in C.’ You will be missed greatly, amigo.”
Hill had recently suffered a hip injury, which forced him to miss performances as part of the band’s summer tour.
ZZ Top’s first single was released in 1969 after the demise of Moving Sidewalks, the band that Gibbons had previously formed,” according to The Guardian. Their first concert, with Hill included, was in 1970 and the year after their first album was released.
Born on May 19, 1949, in Dallas, Texas, Hill attended Woodrow Wilson High School when he played the cello. He and his brother Rocky Hill were raised in the Lakewood neighborhood of East Dallas.
Hill also played keyboards with the band and he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004 as a member of ZZ Top.
The band would go on to find fame with 15 albums and were best known for hits including 1983’s Gimme All Your Lovin’ and 1984’s Legs, according to The Guardian.
Tributes have been coming in from the industry. Musician Michael Peter Balzary, known professionally as Flea, called Hill “a true rocker,” while Go-Go’s member Kathy Valentine said Hill is “a Texas icon.”