Rock musician and Grammy Award winning singer Tom Petty passed away Monday at UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica after being found unconscious at his home in Malibu. He was 66. His death was announced prematurely through various media outlets.
The founder of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers was rushed to the hospital by Los Angeles County Fire Department emergency medical personnel after receiving a call about a patient in cardiac arrest around 11:00pm. They made several attempts to revive him and he was eventually taken off life support. He passed away sometime later.
Petty had just finished a summer reunion tour. In December, he told Rolling Stone magazine that it would the band’s last one. He explained, “It’s very likely we’ll keep playing, but will we take on 50 shows in one tour? I don’t think so. 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 sixties. 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. This tour will take me away for four months. With a little kid, that’s a lot of time.”
His band was known for several hits including “American Girl,” “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” “Mary Jane’s Last Dance,” “Breakdown,” “Listen to Her Heart,” and “Learning To Fly.”
Petty also had a prolific solo career with such hits as “I Won’t Back Down,” “Free Fallin,'” and “Runnin’ Down a Dream.”
He did several collaborations with other musicians including Beatles alumni George Harrison, Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham, and country music star Johnny Cash.
In 2002, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He sold over 80 million records during his career and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1999.