Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Tom Petty dead at 66

Tom Petty died Monday at the age of 66 in a Santa Monica, CA hospital after being found unconscious at his Malibu home Sunday night.

“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,” confirmed Tony Dimitriades, longtime manager of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, on behalf of the family. “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.”

TMZ first broke the news of Petty’s emergency, which found him unconscious, not breathing and in full cardiac arrest at his residence when EMT’s arrived on scene.

In critical condition from the moment he was discovered in distress, the singer was rushed to the UCLA Santa Monica Hospital where he was put on life support.

Petty reportedly had no signs of brain activity when he arrived at the hospital and a decision was made to remove him from life support as family, friends and his bandmates gathered on site.

Confirmation of the rocker’s death comes hours after it was first reported by CBS News in a breaking news story early Monday based on information obtained officially from the Los Angeles Police Department, with Petty’s passing making headlines around the world prematurely; the LAPD later said it was not in a position to confirm the singer’s status.

“The LAPD has no information about the passing of singer Tom Petty,” tweeted the LAPD. “Initial information was inadvertantly provided to some media sources. However, the LAPD has no investigative role in this matter. We apologize for any inconvenience in this reporting.”

Petty and The Heartbreakers closed out a 40th anniversary tour with a series of three concerts at The Hollywood Bowl last week.

The Gainesville, FL musician dropped out of high school at 17 to form local band Mudcrutch in 1970 with fellow players, including guitarist Mike Campbell and keyboardist Benmont Tench. The group moved to Los Angeles after signing with Shelter Records in 1974, where they released one single before disbanding a year later.

Petty, Campbell and Tench hooked up with bassist Ron Blair and drummer Stan Lynch to form The Heartbreakers, who released their self-titled debut in 1976; the project featured instant classics like “American Girl” and the US Top 40 single, “Breakdown.”

Constant touring and a second album, 1978’s “You’re Gonna Get It!”, followed before Petty and the band scored major mainstream success with 1979’s “Damn The Torpedoes.” The set featured their first US Top 10 hit, "Don't Do Me Like That", and follow-ups “Refugee” and “Here Comes My Girl.”

The group released four records in the 80s to varying degrees of interest before Petty teamed up with George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynne to issue their first album as The Traveling Wilburys in 1988.

In the wake of the supergroup’s success, Petty scored the biggest-selling album of his career with his solo debut, 1989’s “Full Moon Fever.” Led by the first single, “I Won’t Back Down”, it was “Free Fallin’” that earned the singer a US No. 7 smash hit as the project sold 5 million copies Stateside.

The singer would issues two more solo efforts, 1994’s “Wildflowers” and 2006’s “Highway Companion”, and a second Wilburys album in 1990.

Petty and The Heartbreakers enjoyed further hits with 1991’s “Into The Great Wide Open” and would go on to issue five more albums by 2014.

The rocker also regrouped with Mudcrutch for two records, including what turned out to be his final project, 2016’s “Mudcrutch 2.”

Petty and The Heartbreakers were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2002, with the singer’s combined solo and group sales topping 80 million albums worldwide.

See also:

Tom Petty clinging to life in hospital after cardiac arrest
Tom Petty expands 40th anniversary tour
Tom Petty announces 40th anniversary tour
Tom Petty to release 40th anniversary vinyl box sets
Search Tom Petty at hennemusic