Dusty Hill, ZZ Top Bassist, Dies at 72

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Dusty Hill (1949 – 2021)

Dusty Hill, the bassist and a lead singer for ZZ Top, has died. His bandmates Frank Beard and Billy Gibbons announced today (July 28, 2021) that he passed in his sleep at his Houston, Tex. home at age 72.

ZZ Top were in the midst of a tour when Hill suddenly took a leave of absence. At the time, the band announced that had to address a hip issue.

The brief announcement: 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’. We will forever be connected to that “Blues Shuffle in C.”

You will be missed greatly, amigo.

Frank & Billy

After a sixteen-month hiatus, necessitated by the worldwide pandemic, ZZ Top went back out on tour in 2021. “A Celebration With ZZ Top” began on July 16 with scores of U.S. concerts planned.

Hill’s final performance was July 18 in Louisville, Ky.

Watch ZZ Top perform “Gimme All Your Lovin'” at that concert

Hill was born Joseph Michael Hill on May 19, 1949, in Dallas, Tex. While in his teens, he and his brother, Rocky Hill, played in several bands with a drummer and future ZZ Top member Frank Beard. Soon thereafter, Dusty and Beard moved to Houston where they combined with Billy Gibbons in what became ZZ Top in 1969. They made their performance debut in February 1970.

Over the next 50+ years, “That Little Ol’ Band From Texas” maintained the most consistently stable lineup in the history of rock music. In that time, they’ve released 15 studio albums, some 30 million in record sales, and such classic rock favorites as “La Grange,” “Legs,” “Sharp Dressed Man” and “Tush.”

Hill first injured his hip in 2014 and subsequently had surgery.

ZZ Top were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.

Watch them perform “La Grange”

Related: Hill is being mourned by fellow rockers

Related: Musicians we’ve lost in 2021

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  1. Artie
    #1 Artie 28 July, 2021, 18:40

    I have always been a fan of ZZ Top since the age of 12. I’m so sorry to hear about Dusty’s passing. My prayers go out to all the family members and and Frank and Billy. Your music Dusty will be remembered.

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  2. OscardinAP
    #2 OscardinAP 29 July, 2021, 07:18

    You’ll be missed by so many Mr. Hill, just a big thanks from myself and please know Texas is proud!

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  3. Paul
    #3 Paul 29 July, 2021, 07:51

    One of, if not the coolest band ever! I consider myself lucky to have seen this classic rock band 3rd row center at Nassau Coliseum and what a show it was, these guys are pure and professional as it gets and will go down as one of my favorites of all time and I’ve seen probably close to 400 odd shows in my 58+ years!!! God Bless brother Dusty, condolences to Billy, Frank and family. Thanks for the memories bro and will see you on the other side, Godspeed my brother. R.I.P.

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  4. Kilowatt
    #4 Kilowatt 29 July, 2021, 11:10

    It’s been a tough year for Texas musicians. R.I.P. Dusty.

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