"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 write. "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."
Dusty joined ZZ Top in 1970 after a legendary jam with Gibbons and Beard that reportedly lasted several hours.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer's precise cause of death remains unclear. Earlier this week, ZZ Top reported that Dusty would miss a string of tour dates "to address a hip issue."
Top said at the time that Dusty asked the band to continue without him for the time being, so they promoted longtime guitar tech Elwood Francis to the role of live bassist.
Last month, ZZ Top announced a massive 50th anniversary tour that would extend into next spring.
The band has a scheduled concert tonight, July 28, in South Carolina. As of this writing, it is unclear if ZZ Top still intends to perform in light of Dusty's passing.
Starting out as a blues band from Houston, Texas, ZZ Top earned massive success on the charts by the late-'70s, selling an estimated 50 million albums worldwide, thanks to rigorous touring, stellar musicianship, Hall of Fame-caliber songwriting and a healthy embrace of Hill and Gibbons' whimsical bearded image.