Dusty Hill, the bassist of blues-rock band ZZ Top, has died at the age of seventy-two.

The sad news was confirmed by bandmates Billy Gibbons and Frank Beard who confirmed in a statement that Hill died in his sleep at his home in Houston, Texas.

The statement, which was posted on Instagram, 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."

Born Joseph Michael Hill, the bassist spent more than fifty years with the band. ZZ Top's first single was released in 1969 with Hill playing his first gig with ZZ Top the following year in 1970.

ZZ Top went on to create fifteen studio albums with hits including "Gimme All Your Lovin" and "Sleeping Bag", with the band joining the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004.

In addition to playing the bass guitar, Hill, known for his bushy beard and sunglasses, played keyboard and was a secondary lead vocalist for the band.

Following the news of Hill's passing, fans, friends and celebrities have taken to social media to share their tributes...

"For fifty entire years, Dusty Hill anchored down one of the greatest rock power trios that's ever existed," music journalist, Corbin Reiff wrote.

"Just devastated to hear of the death of Dusty Hill. We knew each other since high school, when my then-boyfriend was the drummer in 1 of Dusty's early bands w his brother, Rocky. Spent many an evening at those early gigs together. RIP Dusty," actress, Morgan Fairchild wrote.

"I am deeply saddened by the passing of a true American Icon, Dusty Hill. I'll never forget watching him perform every night when Quiet Riot toured with ZZ Top in 1983. A true Pro and a Gentleman. Rock In Peace, Dusty," a fan added.

"Today, we lost a legend & an icon in music. Remembering legendary musician, Bassist & co-lead vocalist of the legendary band," said another.

Earlier this month, the band announced that Hill would be forced to miss some upcoming performances as part of the band's summer tour due to a hip injury.

Our thoughts are with his family and friends. Rest in peace, Dusty Hill.