ZZ Top Bassist Dusty Hill Dies in His Sleep at 72

HOUSTON—ZZ Top bassist Dusty Hill, one of the Texas blues rock trio’s bearded figures, died at his Houston home, the band announced Wednesday. He was 72.

In their Facebook post, guitarist Billy Gibbons and drummer Frank Beard said Hill died in his sleep. They didn’t give a 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 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 1969.

That look—with all three members wearing dark sunglasses and the two frontmen sporting long, wispy beards—became so iconic as to be the subject of a New Yorker cartoon and a joke on “The Simpsons.”