ZZ Top, American rock group famous for its rugged blues-driven guitar works, irreverent music videos, and embrace of its Texas roots, as well as for the musicians’ distinctive facial hair.
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ZZ Top was formed in the Houston area in 1969 when singer-guitarist Billy Gibbons, formerly of blues-rock band Moving Sidewalks, united with bass player Dusty Hill and drummer Frank Beard, who had previously performed together in the band American Blues.
Taking its sonic cues from such blues artists as John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters, the band built a following with ZZ Top’s First Album (1970) and Rio Grande Mud (1971). The band’s breakthrough came in 1973 when the single “La Grange,” from Tres Hombres, became a radio hit. Two years later “Tush,” off the hit album Fandango, cracked the top 20 of the Billboard singles chart.
The band’s Worldwide Texas Tour during which they performed on a Texas-shaped stage littered with props that included cacti, snakes, and longhorn cattle was one of the most successful concert tours of the 1970s.