HOUSTON (NewsNation Now) — ZZ Top bassist Dusty Hill, one of the Texas blues trio’s bearded figures, died at his Houston home, the band announced Wednesday on Facebook. He was 72.
ZZ Top rose to prominence in the 1980s, embracing the then-new format of music videos to turn songs in short movies, most notably with “Legs” and “Sharp-Dressed Man,” both of which featured the iconic Eliminator Coupe, a 1933 Ford Coupe bought by Gibbons.
During the ’80s, the band amassed three Video Music Awards and gave memorable performances at the awards ceremonies. Two Grammys also came the band’s way, both for group performance (for the “Afterburner” and “Elminator” albums).
In their post, guitarist Billy Gibbons and drummer Frank Beard said Hill died in his sleep. No cause of death was listed, but a July 21 post on the band’s website said Hill was “on a short detour back to Texas, to address a hip issue.”
At that time, the band said its longtime guitar tech, Elwood Francis, would fill in on bass, slide guitar and harmonica.
Born Joe Michael Hill in Dallas, he, Gibbons and Beard formed ZZ Top in Houston in the late 1970s, where they played in local venues until attracting the attention of record company executives and producers.