Corrections & clarifications: An earlier version of this report included an image misidentified as Dusty Hill.
One of rock’s most iconic trios has lost a member.
Dusty Hill, the bass player for ZZ Top for more than 50 years, died on Wednesday. He was 72.
Hill’s bandmates Frank Beard and Billy Gibbons confirmed the news Wednesday in a statement that read, “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.”
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Tributes poured in for Hill following the announcement.
Kid Rock said Thursday we all "lost another one of the greats today, but rock n roll never forgets."
In an emotional Instagram post, Kid Rock remembered Hill as "an all around tremendous human being, Texan and American." He wrote, "I loved Dusty Hill first as a player, singer, songwriter and performer. I was privileged to also call him a friend. I will forever cherish our time on the road and on stage together."
Kiss frontman Paul Stanley called Hill "an icon."
"So unique. Always a gentleman from the days of us opening for them through the recent days of them opening for us," Stanley tweeted. "I don’t know what to say but 'Thank you' and 'Rest however you (expletive) well choose!'"
Red Hot Chili Peppers musician Flea said on Twitter Hill was "a true rocker" and "a straight jammer."
No cause of death was given, but Hill has struggled with hip issues since falling on the band’s tour bus in August 2014, followed by surgery and extensive physical rehab.
Last weekend, the band announced that Hill would miss some scheduled shows due to a “hip issue” and replaced him onstage with their longtime guitar tech.
Hill battled health issues throughout the years. In 2000 he was diagnosed with Hepatitis C and shortly before his initial hip injury in 2014, he required surgery to remove kidney stones.
A native of Dallas, the musician born Joe Michael Hill started his career. In 2016, he told For Bass Players Only magazine that he started singing for money at the age of 8, but by the time he turned 13, his brother’s band needed a bass player and he was recruited.
“I wasn’t very good, but I kind of learned how to play on stage and whatnot, and embarrassment is a great motivator,” he said. “If you don’t play well, standing up there with lights on it really stands out, so it behooves you to get your (expletive) up pretty quick.”
Hill’s career with, as they were affectionately known, “That Lil Ol’ Band from Texas,” started with their humorously named “ZZ Top’s First Album” in 1971 and encompassed 15 studio albums, the most recent “La Futura” in 2012.
Though the band’s roots are a combination of grimy boogie blues and rock – exemplified in rock radio favorites “La Grange” and “Tush" - ZZ Top became unlikely heroes of the MTV era. In the 1980s, albums “Eliminator,” “Afterburner” and “Recycler” spawned cheeky videos for “Gimme All Your Lovin’,” “Sharp Dressed Man,” “Legs” and “Sleeping Bag,” among other hits, which introduced them to a younger demographic.
ZZ Top was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Dusty Hill, ZZ Top bassist and founding member, dies at 72