Tom Petty Found Dead: Rock Star Dies Age 66
Rock legend Tom Petty found dead of a heart attack
Rockstar Tom Petty of the band the Heartbreakers has been found dead after laying unconscious, not breathing and in full cardiac arrest at his Malibu home Sunday night.
He was rushed to hospital after he was found but EMTs were able to find a pulse when they found him, and according to TMZ, the hospital found no brain activity when he arrived.
CBS News confirmed his death today.
He was aged 66.
Rolling Stone reports: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers recently completed a summer tour last Monday with three nights at the Hollywood Bowl.
The trek marked the band's 40th anniversary and found him playing rarely played deep cuts like their first album's opener, "Rockin' Around (With You)," and a selection of Wildflowers cuts.
It was intended to be his "last trip around the country." He told Rolling Stone, though, that it wasn't his intention to quit playing.
"I need something to do, or I tend to be a nuisance around the house," he said.
In the late Seventies, Petty's romanticized tales of rebels, outcasts, and refugees started climbing the pop charts.
When he sang, his voice was filled with a heartfelt drama that perfectly complemented the Heartbreakers' ragged rock & roll.
Songs like "The Waiting," "You Got Lucky," "I Won't Back Down," "Learning to Fly" and "Mary Jane's Last Dance" all dominated Billboard's rock chart, and the majority of Petty's albums have been certified either gold or platinum.
His most recent release, Hypnotic Eye, debuted at Number One in 2014.
Petty, who also recorded as a solo artist and as a member of the Traveling Wilburys and Mudcrutch, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.
Thomas Earl Petty was born in Gainesville, Florida, the son of an insurance salesman, on October 20th, 1950.
He quit high school at age 17 to join the southern-rock group Mudcrutch, which was taking off at the time.
The group's lineup featured two musicians Petty would collaborate with for much of the next five decades, guitarist Mike Campbell and keyboardist Benmont Tench.
But while the band was taking off, they broke up upon moving to Los Angeles in the early Seventies.
Petty started his career in earnest in 1975 when he cut a demo with Campbell and Tench that also featured bassist Ron Blair and drummer Stan Lynch.
They called themselves the Heartbreakers and recorded their debut, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, which came out in 1976.
It failed to make an impact at the time (lead single "Breakdown" didn't even chart), but they picked up heat after touring England as support for future E Street Band member Nils Lofgren.
They soon became headliners on the tour, and the album topped the U.K. chart. The label reissued "Breakdown" in the U.S. and it reached the bottom rung of the Top 40 a year after it came out.