Fleetwood Mac Keyboardist Brett Tuggle Dies at 70: Reports

"God bless his beautiful spirit," Rick Springfield wrote in a tribute to the musician

Brett Tuggle
Brett Tuggle. Photo: Scott Dudelson/Getty

Brett Tuggle, a keyboardist who played for Fleetwood Mac and Rick Springfield, has died at 70.

Tuggle's son Matt confirmed the news to Rolling Stone, attributing his death to complications related to cancer.

On Monday, Springfield paid tribute to the musician, who was also a founding member of the David Lee Roth Band. "Our sweet Brett Tuggle made it home tonight," Springfield wrote on Twitter. "God bless his beautiful spirit."

Meanwhile, his son said he was "loved by his family so much."

"His family was with him throughout the entire time of his illness. He was a lovely father. He gave me music in my life," he continued.

The musician was born in Denver, Colorado and at a young age learned how to play the piano then the guitar. He took gigs at small venues in Denver before working in Texas.

However, Tuggle's career took off in 1981 when he started playing with John Kay & Steppenwolf — before he met Springfield and joined his band in 1982. He also spent years touring with David Lee Roth between 1986 to 1994 and was one of the band's founding members. Together, they wrote the 1988 hit "Just Like Paradise."

Tuggle played with Fleetwood Mac from 1997 to 2017 during their reunion era, after first entering the band's orbit in 1992 when he landed a gig with Mick Fleetwood's side project the Zoo.

In 2018, he was dismissed from the band and previously said he believed it was because Stevie Nicks thought he was too close to fired guitarist Lindsey Buckingham. Tuggle had also joined both of them during their solo outings, but it came down to scheduling conflicts.

"It came to a point where Stevie said, 'You're going to have to decide,'" Tuggle told Rolling Stone in 2020. "I said, 'You know, Stevie, I love playing with you. I support you. But Lindsey doesn't have a band.' She said, 'I know he needs good people.' She seemed to be OK with it when I went off to do Lindsey's thing. But think in the end, she looked at me a little as abandoning her and going over to Lindsey's camp."

He also said he was "really shocked" when he got the call he was out of the band.

"I also realized that I was in the middle of the politics of Lindsey and Stevie and this band, and there was nothing I was going to be able to do about it," he explained. "I had become Lindsey's guy and that was it, and I had to accept it."

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Tuggle toured with Buckingham in 2021, but did not rejoin when the tour started back up in April.

"I do want to mention the gentleman who is noticeably absent from the stage tonight," Buckingham told the crowd at the tour's opening night in San Francisco on April 5. "Mr. Brett Tuggle is having a little bit of a health problem. Hopefully he'll be back for the next show, whatever it takes. We missed him tonight."

He is survived by his two children, son Matt and daughter Michelle.

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