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: