ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons reportedly said the band will continue performing after the death of bassist Dusty Hill. The musician died on Tuesday at his home in Houston, Gibbons and drummer Frank Beard announced. Hill was 72. No cause of death was announced.
After Hill's death, Gibbons texted SiriusXM host Eddie Trunk, confirming that ZZ Top will continue on. "'Let the show go on!' and…with respect, we'll do well to get beyond this and honor his wishes," Gibbons texted Trunk. In a follow-up tweet, Trunk reported that Gibbons told him guitar tech Elwood Francis will replace Hill, per Hill's wishes. "Dusty emphatically grabbed my arm and said, 'Give Elwood the bottom end and take it to the Top.' He meant it, amigo. He really did," Gibbons tected Trunk.
Although ZZ Top will continue, the band canceled their show on Wednesday night. They were scheduled to perform in Simpsonville, South Carolina the same day they announced Hill's death. Hill previously stepped away from performing, citing a "hip issue." The band did not share further details on his health.
"We are saddened by the news today that our Compadre, Dusty Hill, has passed away in his sleep at home in Houston, TX," Gibbons and Beard said in a statement to Variety Wednesday. "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."
Gibbons founded ZZ Top in 1969, with Hill replacing the band's original bassist before they signed their first record contract in 1970. The group scored several hits throughout the 1970s, and recorded important albums like Tres Hombres (1973) and Deguello (1979). In March 1983, they released their biggest album, Eliminator, which featured the hits "Legs," "Gimme All Your Lovin,'" "Got Me Under Pressure" and "Shape Dressed Man." Afterburner (1985) was also a big hit, featuring "Stages," "Sleeping Bag," "Rough Boy," and "Velcro Fly." The group continued recording new albums throughout the early 2010s, with La Futura (2012) being the last to feature Hill. The group continued performing with the same lineup of Hill, Beard, and Gibbons and marked their 50th anniversary during a San Antonio concert in February 2020.
ZZ Top was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, with The Rolling Stones' Keith Richards paying tribute to the band in his induction speech. "The heart of the matter is rock and roll and the blues. These cats are steeped in the blues," Richards said of the band, reports Rolling Stone. ZZ Top also performed "La Grange" and "Tush" during the induction ceremony.
"The rough and gruff Texan band had a reverence for their roots, but never took themselves too seriously," the Rock Hall said of the group. "ZZ Top charmed millions with their party anthems and brash music videos. Their mammoth tours solidified a nationwide following and featured everything from Texas-shaped stages to live rattlesnakes."