Tom Petty dead: Legendary singer dies aged 66 after cardiac arrest, family announce
Legendary artist Tom Petty has died aged 66, his family has confirmed.
Confusion surrounded the singer over conflicting reports of his wellbeing, which emerged after he experienced a heart attack at the age of 66.
The singer-songwriter was reportedly rushed to the UCLA Santa Monica hospital on Monday after being found unconscious in his Malibu home.
According to an initial LAPD source via CBS News and Variety, he was taken off life support soon after.
Yet later tweets from CBS and the LAPD claim that the department has âno information about the passing of singer Tom Pettyâ and any information has been âinadvertently providedâ, with both apologisng.
However a later, official statement on behalf of his family confirmed that he had died.
âWe are devastated to announce the untimely death of our father, husband, brother, leader and friend Tom Petty,â Mr Dimitriades said on behalf of the family.
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He died peacefully at 8:40pm local time (3:40am GMT on Tuesday) surrounded by family, his bandmates and friends.
Petty was born in Gainesville, FL, on 20 October, 1950, into a rough childhood. He lived in poverty with an abusive, alcoholic father, when an encounter with Elvis Presley in the Fifties saw him gain an interest in rock music. Aged 17, he dropped out of school to play in a band â" Mudcrutch.
He would later rise to fame with his band Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in the 1970s, releasing several hits including âFree Fallinââ, âListen to Her Heartâ and âAmerican Girlâ. The band was inducted into the Ro ck and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.
The bandâs self-titled album dropped in 1976, eventually going Gold and with two classic rock anthems: âBreakdownâ and âAmerican Girlâ.
It was the bandâs third album, 1979âs Damn the Torpedoes! which saw the band enjoy their breakthrough to mainstream success. The album peaked at No.2 and went triple Platinum, producing two top 20 hits with âRefugeeâ and âDonât Do Me Like Thatâ.
He joined George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynne in the âsupergroup-to-end-all-supergroupsâ â" the Traveling Wilburys.
Tom Petty: A Life in Pictures
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Tom Petty: A Life in Pictures
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers performs on the main stage on day 2 of The Isle of Wight Festival at Seaclose Park on June 22, 2012 in Newport, Isle of Wight
Petty performing at the 2003 Radio Music Awards
Petty with his fellow "Heartbreakers" at the premiere of a documentary film about them
Tom Petty speaking at a ceremony where Jeff Lynne receives a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Tom Petty receiving his own star on the Walk of Fame alongside the Heartbreakers in 1999
Petty performing in London in 1992
Petty (L) performing with Bob Dylan at Madison Square Gardens in New York in July 1986
Petty performing at the start of his career in 1977
Petty would continue to collaborate with Lynne for his solo debut, 1989âs Full Moon Fever, which went five-times Platinum and hit No. 3 on the Billboard 200. It also produced produced arguably his best-known song: âFree Fallinââ.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers had continued to perform for the past four decades, and played a sold-out show at BST Hyde Park in London this year, where Petty performed wth Stevie Nicks for their hit â81 duet âStop Dragginâ My Heart Aroundâ.
Pettyâs final show was last week, performing three sold-out shows at the Hollywood Bowl to conclude their 40th anniversary tour, CBS N ews reports.
âHe told Rolling Stone that he thought this would be the groupâs last tour together.
âItâs very likely weâll keep playing, but will we take on 50 shows in one tour? I donât think so. Iâd be lying if I didnât say I was thinking this might be the last big one. Weâre all on the backside of our sixties. I have a granddaughter now Iâd like to see as much as I can. I donât want to spend my life on the road. This tour will take me away for four months. With a little kid, thatâs a lot of time.â
Tributes have flooded in for the iconic artist, with singers such as Sheryl Crow posting their grief at the news.
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âThis is unbearable. Vegas and now a great music hero has passed, â she tweeted. âYou brought us so mch joy, @tompetty. We will miss you. I feel like today, the music truly died. Canât go see/hear music and be safe and one of the greats just passed.â
His frequent collaborator Cameron Crowe wrote: âNo words. Just thanks.â
"Itâs shocking, crushing news," Petty's friend and Traveling Wilburys bandmate Bob Dylan told Rolling Stone. âI thought the world of Tom. He was a great performer, full of the light, a friend, and Iâll never forget him.â
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