Friends, family, and devoted fans have often been blindsided by the sudden and unexpected deaths of their favorite celebrities.
As long as people keep consuming their art in various forms, their creators will go on in perpetuity. The untimely passing of ZZ Top bassist Dusty Hill on July 28 grieved his fans, but his legacy will live on through the band’s legendary discography.
Dusty Hill, Rocky Hill, and Frank Beard (later a member of ZZ Top) all got their musical starts playing in local Dallas bands including the Warlocks, the Cellar Dwellers, and American Blues.
To fulfill their dreams of becoming rock stars, Frank and Dusty joined Billy Gibbons’ Moving Sidewalks. Following their breakup, Gibbons recruited Hill and Beard to establish the new band ZZ Top.
A Brief History
Joe Michael Hill (better known as Dusty Hill), was born on May 19, 1949, in Dallas, Texas. He was raised by his parents, Ernest and Myrl, and his older brother, Rocky, in the Lakewood district of East Dallas.
While a student at Woodrow Wilson High School, Hill took up the cello. Dusty and Rocky began singing professionally when Dusty was 8 years old, and Dusty picked up the bass at 13 after Rocky established a band.
Hill, when asked why he struggled academically, said, “Part of the problem was that by the time I was 13 I was already playing in local bars, so school somewhat got in the way of that and I disliked it.”
In Dallas, Dusty, Rocky, and future ZZ Top drummer Frank Beard played in bands like the Cellar Dwellers, the Warlocks, and American Blues; in 1969, Dusty, Rocky, and Frank Beard performed as a Texas-based imitation of the British group the Zombies.
In 1968, Dusty and Frank made the journey to Houston, and the following year, Beard became a member of Billy Gibbons‘ band, The Moving Sidewalks. In July of 1969, when Frank had introduced Dusty and Billy, the band began using the name ZZ Top.
After landing a deal with London Records, the band released their debut album, simply titled “ZZ Top,” in 1971. After “Rio Grande Mud” in 1972, they issued “Tres Hombres” (1973), “Fandango!” (1975), and “Tejas,” all of which were certified Gold by the RIAA (1976).
As Beard sought help for his drug addiction at a rehab facility and Hill worked at Dallas Airport to “feel normal” and “base himself,” the band went on indefinite hiatus in 1976.
After a brief hiatus, ZZ Top released the Platinum album “Degüello” in 1979, followed by the Diamond-certified “Eliminator” in 1983 and the 5-Platinum “Afterburner” in 1985. After performing at Super Bowl XXXI’s halftime show in 1997, the band released “Mescalero” (2003) and “La Futura” (2007).
(2012). After Dusty was diagnosed with hepatitis C in 2000, ZZ Top had to cancel their European tour. In 2014, Hill collapsed on the tour bus and injured his hip, forcing the band to miss a portion of their tour.
Dusty injured his hip again and had to leave the band’s “A Celebration with ZZ Top” tour a few days before his death.
How Much Money Does Dusty Hill Have?
In 2021, American artist Dusty Hill had a net worth of $60 million. Hill was a founding member of the rock band ZZ Top, along with Billy Gibbons and Frank Beard, and was also recognized for his roles as bassist, pianist, and co-vocalist.
His current lineup includes musicians who had previously played in the Warlocks, Cellar Dwellers, and American Blues. In total, ZZ Top released 15 studio albums with Dusty during 1971 (with “ZZ Top’s First Album”) and 1985 (with “Afterburner”) (2012).
“Live from Texas” (2008), “Double Down Live” (2009), “Live at Montreux 2013” (2014), and “Tonite at Midnight: Live Greatest Hits from Around the World” (2016) are some of the band’s live albums (2015).
(2016). Some of the band’s most well-known songs include “Sharp-Dressed Man,” “Legs,” and “Gimme All Your Lovin’,” which have been featured in movies like “Back to the Future Part III” (1990) and “Mother Goose Rock ‘n’ Rhyme” (1990) and television shows like “Ellen” (1996) and “Two and a Half Men” (2001). (1997).
(2010). The Documentary “That Little Ol’ Band from Texas,” nominated for a Grammy, was released in 2019 to celebrate ZZ Top’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.
Dusty Hillman, the guitarist with ZZ Top, died suddenly and brutally in July 202121 at the age of 72. Prior to his passing, Hillman had asked that ZZ Top’s guitar tech, Elwood Francis, take over for him in the band.
Relationships in Dusty Hill’s Private Life
They tied the knot on March 23, 2002, and were happily married until Dusty’s death in 2013. Hill had a daughter from a previous relationship.
In 1984, Dusty’s derringer fell out of his boot and unintentionally went off. That’s how Hill got shot in the stomach. When questioned more about the incident, he said, “To this day, I have no idea how I would be able to pull it off.
But I couldn’t say that I had any significant emotions at that time. Because I knew nothing else, I hopped in my car and drove myself to the nearest hospital. When I got to the hospital, I realized how dreadful of a thing I’d done, and I went into shock.