Rocker Tom Petty has died after suffering a cardiac arrest, his family and spokeswoman confirmed, hours after news organizations retracted unconfirmed reports of his death.Tom's Spokeswoman Carla Sacks said Petty died Monday night at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles after he suffered cardiac arrest.
Petty, usually backed by his longtime band the Heartbreakers, was known for such classic rock hits as "Free Fallin,'" "Last Dance with Mary Jane" and "Breakdown". The Gainesville, Florida native with the shaggy blond hair, raspy voice, and gaunt features drew upon the Byrds, the Beatles and other musicians he loved while growing up in the 1960s. Petty and the Heartbreakers had recently completed a 40th-anniversary tour, one he hinted would be their last. Petty, whose worldwide sales topped 80 million records, was inducted into the Rock Hall of Fame in 2002. The 66-year-old entertainer’s family has also confirmed the news.For several hours Monday, music lovers believed Tom Petty was dead. However, later news outlets that announced his death Monday retracted their stories later Monday. The Walk of Fame tribute was canceled.
Tributes have started pouring on Twitter from both his contemporaries and musicians he influenced through the years.
Thomas Earl Petty, who was born on October 20, 1950, was an American musician, singer, songwriter, multi instrumentalist, and record producer. While he is best known as the frontman and singer-songwriter for his band Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, he has also been a member and co-founder of the late 1980s supergroup the Traveling Wilburys that included Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynne, and his early band Mudcrutch.
Tom Petty's death is another in a long list of legendary musicians who died in 2017 including Steely Dan's Walter Becker a month ago, Chester Bennington of Linkin Park, Chris Cornell frontman for the Seattle grunge band Soundgarden and Gregg Allman of the Allman Brothers Band amongst others.