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Tom Petty, iconic rocker and frontman for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, has died at 66.
The musician, whose band had hits with classics such as “Free Fallin'” and “American Girl,” was taken to UCLA Santa Monica Hospital after suffering a full cardiac arrest at his Malibu home Sunday night. According to CBS News, Petty was found unconscious and not breathing and died later at the hospital.
His death was confirmed in a statement released Monday night by his longtime manager, who said Petty died “surrounded by family, his bandmates and friends.”
Petty and his band broke into fame in the 1970s and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. They garnered legions of fans and continued to tour over the past four decades.
Petty’s last show was at the Hollywood Bowl last Monday, where he and the Heartbreakers played three sold-out performances to end their 40th anniversary tour.
Speaking in December to Rolling Stone, Petty seemed unsure of how long the band’s hectic touring pace could last.
“It’s very likely we’ll keep playing, but will we take on 50 shows in one tour? I don’t think so,” he said. “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.”
Besides his work with the Heartbreakers, Petty released three solo albums and was also a member of the 80s supergroup the Traveling Wilburys, teaming up with Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynne.
Petty also had his own Sirius XM channel, complete with an interview show dubbed “Tom Talks to Cool People,” where he chatted with other music legends.
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