Tom Petty, who found fame with his band The Heartbreakers, has died at the age of 66 following a heart attack. An inductee of the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, his hits included ‘Refugee’, ‘American Girl’ and ‘Free Fallin’’.
Petty had been found unconscious, not breathing and in cardiac arrest at his Malibu home on Monday (October 2). He was taken to hospital but doctors couldn’t save his life.
Conflicting reports had been emerging throughout last night with both TMZ and CBS reporting Petty’s death before any official confirmation had been made. CBS changed their story after the LAPD denied that Petty had died.
However, Tom Dimitriades, manager of Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers has confirmed the news of Petty’s passing.
In a statement on behalf of Petty’s family, Dimitriades said: “ “On behalf of the Tom Petty family we are devastated to announce the untimely death of our father, husband, brother, leader and friend Tom Petty.
“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 PST surrounded by family, his bandmates and friends.”
Full statement: pic.twitter.com/FGCVI5yIaa— Tom Petty (@tompetty) October 3, 2017
Tributes have poured in from the world of music. Bob Dylan – Petty’s bandmate in the Traveling Wilburys, told Rolling Stone in a statement: “It's shocking, crushing news. I thought the world of Tom. He was a great performer, full of the light, a friend, and I’ll never forget him."
Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers recently finished their 40th anniversary tour with three gigs at the Hollywood Bowl last week. The band played a sold out UK show at London’s Hyde Park in July.
Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers initially found greater success in the UK than their homeland but broke through with their second and third albums, You’re Gonna Get It! (1978) and the classic Damn The Torpedoes (1979).
The band’s popularity increased over the next four decades and scroring further hits such as ‘Don’t Come Around Here No More’ and the Stevie Nicks duet ‘Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around’.
He also played with supergroup The Traveling Wilburys with Bob Dylan, former Beatles George Harrison, Roy Orbison and ELO’s Jeff Lynne.
Speaking to Rolling Stone last year about the 40th anniversary tour, he said: "I'd be lying if I didn't say I was thinking this might be the last big one. We're all on the backside of our 60s.
"I have a granddaughter now I'd like to see as much as I can. I don't want to spend my life on the road."