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Midnight Oil bassist Bones Hillman dies after cancer battle

Midnight Oil bassist Bones Hillman has died at the age of 62 at his home in Milwaukee, United States.

The legendary bass guitar player had been battling cancer.

The band confirmed the news in an emotional tribute to Bones, who was known as "the bassist with the beautiful voice".

In an heartbreaking statement, Midnight Oil penned: "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."

They continued: "Bones joined Midnight Oil way back in 1987 after stints in various Kiwi bands, most notably, The Swingers.

"He played and sang on every Midnight Oil recording since Blue Sky Mining and we did thousands of gigs together.

"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."

Closing their statement, they said: "Haere rā Bonesy from Jim, Martin, Peter & Rob."

Tributes have been pouring in for the guitarist on social media.

Hollywood actor Russell Crowe said: "R.I.P Bones Hillman. What a grand chap he was. Sad, sad news."

A devastated fan wrote: "This is awful news on such an otherwise special day. Midnight Oil is one of Australia’s greatest bands. RIP Bones Hillman #MidnightOil."

Bones – real name Wayne Gifford – had been a part of Midnight Oil since replacing Peter Gifford on bass in 1987.

Midnight Oil went on hiatus in 2002, when lead singer Peter Garrett ventured into politics.

But they regrouped in 2018 for a reunion tour.

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