Midnight Oil bassist and backing vocalist Bones Hillman has died at the age of 62, following a battle with cancer.
“We’re grieving the loss of our brother Bones Hillman, who has passed away at his home in Milwaukee today after a cancer battle,” a statement from the band read.
“He was the bassist with the beautiful voice, the band member with the wicked sense of humour, and our brilliant musical comrade,” it continued.
The band went on to explain that Hillman joined them back in 1987, and played and sang on every recording since 1990’s Blue Sky Mining.
Having played “thousands of gigs” with Midnight Oil, Hillman also participated in their most recent tour, 2017 ‘s ‘Great Circle’ tour.
“We will deeply miss our dear friend and companion and we send our sincerest sympathies to Denise, who has been a tower of strength for him. Haere rā Bonesy from Jim, Martin, Peter & Rob,” the statement concluded.
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Born in Auckland as Wayne Stevens, Hillman began using the stage name Bones Hillman in the 1970s (according to the Sydney Morning Herald.)
Hillman enjoyed a successful career over in New Zealand, performing with bands including the Suburban Reptiles and The Swingers.
It was his part in the latter band that led him to Australia in 1980, before he replaced Peter Gifford as Midnight Oil’s bass player.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Hillman returned to New Zealand after the band took a break in 2002, before moving to Nashville in 2007.
In the US, Hillman largely worked as a session musician, and also collaborated with the likes of Sheryl Crow and Anne McCue.
Our thoughts are with Hillman’s family and friends at this difficult time.
Read Midnight Oil’s full statement announcing that Bones Hillman has died:
We’re grieving the loss of our brother Bones Hillman, who has passed away at his home in Milwaukee today after a cancer battle. He was the bassist with the beautiful voice, the band member with the wicked sense of humour, and our brilliant musical comrade. pic.twitter.com/qP5EJqZowL
— Midnight Oil (@midnightoilband) November 8, 2020