Dusty Hill, the bassist for blues-rock trio ZZ Top, has died. 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, Texas,” wrote ZZ Top drummer Frank Beard and lead vocalist Billy Gibbons in a joint statement Wednesday, Rolling Stone reported.
Hill served as the still-active group’s bassist for over 50 years. In 2004, Hill was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the group, which was founded in 1969.
The Dallas-born musician had suffered a number of health scares in recent years, although it’s unclear if these were related to his death: In 2000, ZZ Top canceled a European tour after Hill was diagnosed with hepatitis C. On Friday, ZZ Top wrote in a Facebook post that Hill was on “a short detour back to Texas, to address a hip issue. They await a speedy recovery and have him back pronto.”
Following the announcement of his death, friends and fans took to social media to pay tribute to the legendary musician.
“I hate that my social media has become more of an obituary but such is life, young or old, we are but mere mortals when our time comes,” tweeted singer Jeff Scott Soto. “RIP to the GREAT Dusty Hill of @ZZTop. Thank you for the decades of music!!”