Midnight Oil bassist Bones Hillman, 62, dies after cancer battle

Penny Burfitt
·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·2-min read

Midnight Oil bassist and backing vocalist Bones Hillman died aged 62 in his home in the United States on Sunday.

The New Zealand born bassist, originally named Wayne Stevens, died at his home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the band announced on Sunday, November 8 via their Twitter account.

Image of. Midnight Oil's Peter Garret and Bones Hillman
Midnight Oil bassist Bones Hillman (right) died at 62 on Sunday. Photo: Getty Images

The former rocker had fought a lengthy battle with cancer according to the band’s post which remembered a ‘wicked sense of humour’ and ‘brilliant musician’.

“We’re grieving the loss of our brother Bones Hillman, who has passed away at his home in Milwaukee today after a cancer battle,” the post alongside a snap of Hillman on stage read.

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

“He was the bassist with the beautiful voice, the band member with the wicked sense of humour, and our brilliant musical comrade.”

They also sent their best to the rock star’s wife Denise, sending their former bandmate off with a Maori farewell.

“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.”

Fans rushed to commemorate the rocker, deeply saddened by the sudden news.

Wonderful Bones Hillman. So very sad to read this. My condolences to his family and to you his music brothers x
Photo: Twitter
So saddened by this news. Listening to One Country right now in tears. R.I.P. Bones.
Photo: Twitter
I'm so, so sorry to read this - my thoughts with all members of band and crew. I still remember him being introduced on stage for the first time on the Diesel tour in 1987.
Photo: Twitter

Bones’ career with Midnight Oil

Image of Midnight Oil in 1988
Midnight Oil recently released new music after an almost 20-year hiatus. Photo: Getty Images

Bones was a part of Midnight Oil since joining in 1987 after playing in a range of Kiwi bands.

The iconic Aussie band recently released new music after an almost 20 year break, sharing new single “Gadigal Land,” from their latest studio album The Makarrata Project just days before Bones’ death.

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