Ronnie Tutt's wife, Donna, tells TMZ, he died Saturday of natural causes at his home in Franklin, Tennessee. He was surrounded by family and went peacefully. He did not want to be hospitalized. Donna says Ronnie had a longtime heart condition and there was nothing more doctors could do. She says his body had just had enough, adding, "He couldn't play another drum lick."
Ronnie played with The King from 1969 until Elvis' death in 1977. Ronnie was a member of TCB -- short for Takin' Care of Business -- which backed up Presley during his Vegas runs and other performances.
Elvis Presley Enterprises said of Tutt's death ... "All of us with Elvis Presley Enterprises were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Ronnie Tutt. In addition to being a legendary drummer, he was a good friend to many of us here at Graceland."
Tutt made the rounds with some of the most famous musicians of his day, including The Carpenters, Roy Orbison, Neil Diamond, Billy Joel, and Jerry Garcia.
Ronnie recorded with Johnny Cash, Glen Campbell, Kenny Rogers, Elvis Costello, Stevie Nicks and Michael McDonald.
After Elvis died, Ronnie became Neil Diamond's drummer for recording sessions and concerts.
Ronnie is survived by Donna, his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Donna says Ronnie will be cremated and there will be a celebration of his life.