Eliot Tiegel, Music Journalist and Onetime Billboard Managing Editor, Dies at 84

Courtesy of Ken Kaplan
Eliot Tiegel

He was married to late 'Entertainment Tonight' producer Bonnie Tiegel for 44 years.

Eliot Tiegel, an author, former Los Angeles bureau chief and managing editor of Billboard and the husband of late Entertainment Tonight producer Bonnie Tiegel, has died. He was 84.

He died Tuesday of an apparent heart attack as he was about to leave his home in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles to go for a walk, his stepson, Ken Kaplan, told The Hollywood Reporter.

A writer for more than 50 years, Tiegel covered music, records, radio, TV and films for Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter; handled liner notes for albums recorded by the likes of Hugo Montenegro and Mel Tormé; and often was invited by Frank Sinatra and Quincy Jones into the studio to watch them work.

Tiegel also authored the 2007 book Latinization of America: How Hispanics Are Changing the Nation's Sights and Sounds and Overexposed: The Price of Fame: The Troubles of Britney, Lindsay, Paris, and Nicole, published in 2008.

Born on Jan. 28, 1936, and raised in the Bronx, Tiegel attended DeWitt Clinton High School with Garry Marshall. He attended the Brooklyn outpost of Long Island University and spent two years in the U.S. Army before landing a job with the public relations department at Columbia Records. Tiegel started at Billboard in the 1960s and reported on a major payola scandal.

Survivors include his daughter-in-law, Diana, and granddaughters Samantha, Lauren and Sophia.

Bonnie Tiegel, his wife of 44 years, died in January 2017 after a battle with cancer at age 67. THR called the four-time Emmy winner one of ET's "most admired newshounds" in a 2011 piece about the program.