ZZ Top were forced to warn fans to avoid buying fake merchandise that’s been released to cash in on the death of Dusty Hill.

The 72-year-old passed away in his sleep in July, and was replaced by longtime band roadie Elwood Francis as a result of Hill's insistence that the band should continue without him. Frontman Billy Gibbons later confirmed that, although it would “require some completion work,” Hill’s vocals will be heard on the band’s next album.

“ZZ Top, its representatives, and the family of Dusty Hill have become aware of unauthorized merchandise being sold on the internet purporting to celebrate the memory of Dusty Hill ('RIP Dusty,' 'Thank you, Dusty' etc.),” a band statement said. “Please be aware that neither the band nor Dusty's family has approved the sale of any merchandise or promotions connected to Dusty. It is sad and unfortunate that many people are trying to 'cash in' on Dusty's untimely death. Please know that no monies generated by these bogus goods are paid to the band or to Dusty's family.”

The band asked fans to “honor Dusty by refraining to purchase any of these bootlegged goods” and “inform others of this inappropriate and illegal behavior.” The statement continued: “Please know that ZZ Top will pursue all available remedies to put a stop to the sale of unauthorized merchandise… We are saddened by our loss, and will protect Dusty and ourselves to the fullest extent of the law. We appreciate all our fans and hope you will work with us to prevent this outrageous and illegal conduct.”

In the aftermath of Hill’s passing, his widow, Charlene McCrory, thanked fans for their support. “He woke me up and we talked and as he was sweetly chatting with me he suddenly stopped,” she said of his final moments, “and he was gone in an instant.” She added: “It is my hope you will always keep him in your hearts. He loved his fans and always remembered that without fans music is not heard. So, know he truly appreciated each and every one of you.”

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Gallery Credit: Nick DeRiso

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