LIFE

Breaking: Music Icon Tom Petty Dies At Age 66

by Ann-Sophie Kaemmerle
Native New Yorker, University of Virginia graduate, runner, and sometimes stand-up performer.

UPDATE (8:00 a.m. ET): Tom Petty died Monday at age 66, which was confirmed by the longtime manager of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Tony Dimitriades according to CNN.

There were various conflicting reports on his health status yesterday.

“He suffered cardiac arrest at his home in Malibu in the early hours of this morning and was taken to UCLA Medical Center but could not be revived. He died peacefully at 8:40pm PT surrounded by family, his bandmates and friends,” Dimitriades said in a statement.

PREVIOUSLY:

Tom Petty, the music icon who influenced a generation of performers through classics like “American Girl” and “Free Fallin’,” has died at the age of 66 after being found unconscious and in full cardiac arrest inside his Malibu home.

Tom was already in critical condition by the time he was rushed to the hospital, according to TMZ. He passed away shortly thereafter, authorities told CBS News.

Thomas Earl Petty was born on October 20, 1950, in Gainesville, Florida. He developed an early interest in rock music and even met Elvis Presley at age 10. Later, he dropped out of high school to pursue success with the band Mudcrutch.

After the band broke up, Tom ultimately decided to go solo. Retaining a few members of Mudcrutch, he gradually recruited the supporting band that would help define his career as a popular musician. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers originally formed in 1976.

They found success with their second album, You’re Gonna Get It!. Their third album, Damn the Torpedoes, was an even bigger hit — going platinum. Along with the Heartbreakers, Tom Petty would go on to become one of rock’s best-selling artists. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.

Tom is survived by his wife, Dana York, and two daughters: Adria and Kimberly. He leaves behind an iconic legacy as a singer and songwriter, as well as many devoted fans and friends.

Please SHARE if you loved Tom Petty’s music, and if you think he was one of the greatest rock singers of his day!

Thumbnail Photo: Facebook / Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Footage provided by WJW Cleveland

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