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29 July 2021

ZZ Top Bassist Dusty Hill Has Died Aged 72

ZZ Top Bassist Dusty Hill
Blain Clausen
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ZZ Top bassist Michael ‘Dusty’ Hill has passed away in his sleep at his home in Houston aged 72. In a statement posted to ZZ Top’s social media channels, Hill’s surviving bandmates, Frank Beard and Billy Gibbons paid tribute “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,’” they wrote. “We will forever be connected to that ‘Blues Shuffle in C.’”

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Hill was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. Along with his brother, Rocky Hill, and his future ZZ Top bandmate Beard, he played in several local outfits including The Warlocks, The Cellar Dwellers, and American Blues. The last outfit, American Blues, released two full-length records before disbanding in 1968. Hill and Beard relocated to Houston, where they met Billy Gibbons and formed ZZ Top. The trio released the first ZZ Top single, Salt Lick, in 1969; the aptly named ZZ Top’s First Album arrived two years later.

They broke through with the 1973 album, Tres Hombres, which featured the hit single, La Grange. Following that success, ZZ Top released four more studio records before releasing their highest-selling album Eliminator in 1983. It marked a turn toward the band’s more pop- and synthesizer-driven sound. The following record, 1985’s Afterburner, became the group’s highest charting LP, peaking at No 4 on the US charts. ZZ Top were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2004. The band’s last record with Hill was 2012’s La Futura, which Gibbons produced with Rick Rubin.

Musicians including Slash, Bootsy Collins and Flea have already paid their respects on social media

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