American Rock Icon Tom Petty Dead at 66

Tom Petty — the legendary songwriter, guitarist, and singer behind Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers — has died at the age of 66.

The news follows earlier reports of Petty being rushed to the UCLA Santa Monica Hospital after being found unconscious at his home in Malibu as the result of a cardiac arrest on Sunday. According to the report, Petty was hooked up to life support upon arrival at the hospital but was found to have no brain activity.

Later in the day, many news outlets — including Reverb — erroneously reported that Petty had died when in fact his heart was still beating. As of this time though, his death has been confirmed by his long time manager, Tony Dimitriades

Petty and the Heartbreakers had just completed a massive world tour this past week, which celebrated the 40th anniversary of the band.

In a career that spanned five decades and saw the sale of over 80 million records, Petty was an absolutely definitive force in rock music. Starting with his band Mudcrutch in the early '70s, Petty and his Heartbreakers stormed out of Gainesville, Florida to make their mark on music with such classics as "American Girl" and "Refugee."

Petty also released a number of solo records starting with 1989's Full Moon Fever. These records included other Heartbreakers like Benmont Tench and Mike Campbell, as well as other musicians.

For fans the world over, Petty will be remembered for his hooks, his nostalgic lyrics sewed with the mythos of American youth, and his unmistakable tenor with its signature Florida drawl.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - "I Won't Back Down" (from "America: A Tribute to Heroes")

Even amidst the uncertainty of the news earlier in the day, musicians and celebrities have taken to Twitter to lament the icon's untimely passing, sharing stories, personal reflections, and condolences to Petty's friends and family.


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