The news was confirmed by Tuggle's son, Matt, who shared that the keyboardist died on Sunday, June 19, from complications related to cancer.
“He was loved by his family so much,” Matt told Rolling Stone (opens in new tab). “His family was with him throughout the entire time of his illness. He was a lovely father. He gave me music in my life.”
Born in Denver, Colorado, Tuggle learned how to play the piano at a young age, before moving onto guitar and taking on gigs in small venues in Denver as a teen. When he left home, he began playing with touring bands in Texas, later returning to his birth place to form the band Head First. In 1979, record producer Keith Olsen invited Tuggle to go to Los Angeles to meet an artist who needed a keyboard player.
During his time in LA, Tuggle spent much of 1981 as the keyboardist for John Kay & Steppenwolf, before meeting Rick Springfield and joining his band in early 1982.
'Our sweet Brett Tuggle made it home tonight,' Springfield wrote on Twitter as he shared a photo with the musician. 'God bless his beautiful spirit.'
Tuggle also played keyboards with David Lee Roth in Roth's post-Van Halen career 1986-94, during in which time he co-wrote Just Like Paradise alongside the vocalist. Tuggle played with Roth on the 1986/1987 Eat 'Em and Smile tour, the 1988 Skyscraper tour, the 1991 A Little Ain't Enough tour and the 1994 Your Filthy Little Mouth tour.
In 1992, Tuggle joined Mick Fleetwood's side project The Zoo, which led him to join Fleetwood Mac's live band. He played keyboards on every Fleetwood Mac tour from 1997 to 2017, and also gigged extensively with Stevie Nicks, Buckingham, and Buckingham McVie.
On April 5, during the first night of Buckingham's current tour, he said to the audience: “I do want to mention the gentleman who is noticeably absent from the stage tonight. Mr. Brett Tuggle is having a little bit of an health problem. Hopefully he’ll be back for the next show, whatever it takes. We missed him tonight.”
During his career, Tuggle also worked with names such as Jimmy Page, Rick Springfield, Chris Isaak and Steven Tyler.
Our sweet Brett Tuggle made it home tonight. God bless his beautiful spirit. ❤️ @BrettTuggle1 pic.twitter.com/JHID345cO0June 20, 2022
Brett Tuggle—truly the ”secret weapon” of the Eat ‘Em & Smile band and tour. Loved by everyone that ever met him, and gifted with supreme talent—-Rest in Peace. We will never forget you. ❤️❤️❤️ pic.twitter.com/mhzC90sD79June 20, 2022
sad news…Just heard…A delightful man who worked with Coverdale Page then Restless Heart…My love & respect to his family, friends & fans…A Sad day, indeed…🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻Brett Tuggle, Fleetwood Mac and David Lee Roth Keyboardist, Dead at 70 - Rolling Stone https://t.co/mLTj2TPHu3June 20, 2022