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Bearded bassist Dusty Hill dies in his sleep at 72

HOUSTON (AP) – Dusty Hill of ZZ Top, the long-bearded bassist of the million-selling Texas blues-rock trio known for hits like “Legs” and “Gimme All Your Lovin ‘”, has died at the age of 72.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday, guitarist Billy Gibbons and drummer Frank Beard said Hill died in his sleep. They didn’t give any cause of death, but a July 21 post on the band’s website said Hill was “on a short detour back to Texas to address a hip problem.” At the time, the band said their longtime guitar technician Elwood Francis would step in on bass, slide guitar and harmonica.

Born Joe Michael Hill in Dallas, he, Gibbons and Beard founded ZZ Top in Houston in 1969, some of which were named after the blues singer ZZ Hill and were influenced by the British power trio Cream. Her debut album “ZZ Top’s First Album” was released in 1970. Three years later, the commercial breakthrough came with “La Grange”, a funky blues song in the style of Slim Harpos “Shake Your Hips”, which the Chicken Ranch, a notorious brothel outside of Texan city of La Grange.

The band had hits like “Tush” in 1975 and the 1980s songs “Sharp Dressed Man”, “Legs”, “Gimme All Your Lovin ‘” and “Sleeping Bag”. The band’s 1976 Worldwide Texas Tour, with its iconic Texas stage adorned with cacti, snakes and longhorn cattle, was one of the most successful rock tours of the decade. Her albums sold millions of times included “Eliminator”, “Afterburner” and “Antenna”.

ZZ Top was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, introduced by Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards.

“Those cats have the blues, me too,” said Richards. “These cats know their blues and know how to attract them. When I first saw her I thought, ‘I hope these guys aren’t on the run because this disguise won’t work.’ ”

This look, in which all three members wore dark sunglasses and Gibbons and Hill wore long, delicate beards, became so popular, thanks in part to their MTV videos in the 1980s, that it was the subject of a New York cartoon and a joke on The Simpsons. “


An earlier version of this story has been corrected to reflect that ZZ Top was founded in 1969 rather than in the late 1970s.

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