HOUSTON, TX. (THECOUNT) — ZZ Top bassist and secondary lead vocalist, Joseph Michael “Dusty” Hill, has died, TMZ is reporting Wednesday. He was 72.
Hill passed away at his home in Houston, TX, according to his bandmates, Billy Gibbons and Frank Beard.
“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.” The boys add, “You will be missed greatly, amigo.”
Unclear if Dusty’s death is in any way related to another health scare he recently suffered — namely, a hip injury that the band said he had to address in the past week or so, forcing him to bow out of a string of shows across the U.S. with his bandmates.
ZZT addressed the setback on Facebook not too long ago, writing … “The members of ZZ Top, Billy, and Frank, would like to share that Dusty, their fearless Bass player, is on a short detour back to Texas, to address a hip issue. They await a speedy recovery and have him back pronto.” They replaced Dusty with Elwood Francis … who’s been playing in his stead.
The group has yet to speak on Dusty’s passing. They have a show scheduled for Wednesday night in Simpsonville, SC — but something tells us that’ll be canceled in light of this tragic news.