After a lengthy and confusing day of information, it has been confirmed that rock legend Tom Petty passed away yesterday at the age of 66.
Initial reports emerged that the singer/guitarist suffered major cardiac arrest at his Malibu home before being rushed to UCLA Medical Center. EMTs were able to find a pulse but the hospital found no brain activity. The decision was then made to pull him off of life support. CBS erroneously broke the news that Petty had died causing some confusion as to his status. It seems that they simply jumped the gun on his death but the story has basically remained the same.
Petty is best known as a solo artist and the frontman of the Heartbreakers but he was also a member of The Traveling Wilburys and Mudcrutch. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers released their self-titled debut album in 1976 to little initial success in the United States despite being a hit in the United Kingdom. The album featured the song, “American Girl,” which is still a staple of rock radio today and it has also appeared in a number of films including Fast Times at Ridgemont High and The Silence of the Lambs.
Over his lengthy career, Petty has released countless hit singles including “Free Fallin’,” “Refugee,” and “Mary Jane’s Last Dance,” sold over 80 million records, received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Most recently, the Heartbreakers completed a summer tour commemorating their 40th anniversary with a three night stay at the Hollywood Bowl just last week. He even had a few stints as an actor over the years. Needless to say, he enjoyed a long, fruitful career before his passing.
All respects go to the family and friends of Tom Petty.