Tom Petty has died after suffering cardiac arrest, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. Petty’s manager says he suffered cardiac arrest at his home in Malibu in the early hours in the morning and passed at 8:40 p.m after being taken to UCLA Medical Center. Petty is survived by second wife Dana York Petty and his daughters from his first marriage, Adria and Annakim.
“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,” Petty’s manager said in a statement. “He died peacefully surrounded by family, his bandmates and friends.”
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers just wrapped their 40th anniversary tour at the Hollywood Bowl last week.
Petty was born in Gainesville, FL, on Oct. 20, 1950, and endured a rough childhood. At the age of 17, Petty dropped out of high school to play rock with his band, Mudcrutch. After that band broke up, Petty and several of its members formed Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, which catapulted him to the forefront of rock music for the next 40 years. (Mudcrutch reformed in 2007 and released two studio albums, 2008’s self-titled and 2016’s “2”, his final studio effort.)
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ self-titled album dropped in 1976, and although it would eventually go Gold and produce two classic rock radio staples with the singles “Breakdown” and “American Girl,” the album (and those singles) weren’t big hits upon initial release. 1978’s “You’re Gonna Get It!” fared slightly better commercially, but it was the band’s third album, 1979’s “Damn the Torpedoes!”, that found Petty break through to massive success.
After joining George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynne in the supergroup Traveling Wilburys – whose 1988 debut hit No. 3 on the Billboard 200 – Petty continued to work with Lynne on his solo debut, 1989’s “Full Moon Fever”. It would prove to be his most blockbuster release since “Damn the Torpedoes!”, going five-times Platinum, hitting No. 3 on the Billboard 200 and producing arguably his best-known song, “Free Fallin’ ”. Despite his lifetime on rock’s A-list, Petty didn’t actually notch his first No. 1 album until 2014’s “Hypnotic Eye”.
Petty was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in 2002, reports internet.