In ZZ Top, Dusty, drummer Frank Beard and guitarist/vocalist Billy Gibbons were the longest-continuing lineup of any act in musical history. Earlier this month, the band launched its 50th anniversary celebration tour, which was booked through next spring.
Dusty left the tour earlier this week to address a "hip issue" and reportedly passed away in his sleep Wednesday in Houston, Texas.
"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,'" Beard and Gibbons wrote in a tribute to Dusty. "We will forever be connected to that 'Blues Shuffle in C.' You will be missed greatly, amigo."
Dusty was a beloved bassist, songwriter and personality in ZZ Top. News of his death drew tributes from fellow bassists, rockers and beyond.
"Ahhhh man, I love Dusty Hill. A true rocker. What a straight jammer," Flea wrote in a Tweet.
Singer-songwriter Christopher Cross explained that Dusty was a personal friend "A great musician and a rock icon. My condolences and prayers go out to his wife Charlene, his family, and to Billy, Frank and to the entire ZZ Top organization."
Legendary pro wrestling announcer Jim Ross wrote that he'd lost "another dear friend" and that "Dusty Hill was a fabulous pro wrestling fan...unreal bassist."
Indianapolis Colts CEO and classic rock historian Jim Irsay wrote that he considers Dusty to be among the greatest rock bassists of all-time, "Right at the top...because his sound was SO BIG!! He will be missed."
We miss you already, Dusty. Rest in peace.
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