Obituaries

American Rock and Roll Legend Tom Petty Dies at 66; Live Nation Responds

According to CBS News, rock and roll legend Tom Petty suffered a full cardiac arrest and was found unconscious in his Malibu home Sunday night. Upon arriving at the hospital, Petty was put on life support. It has now been reported that Petty was pulled off of life support and has died at age 66.

The LAPD, who initially responded to the call, told CBS that they had responded to the call to Petty's home, and later confirmed via Twitter that Petty has died. That tweet has since been deleted and LAPD has issued a new statement saying, "initial information was inadvertently provided to some media sources" and apologized for "any inconvenience in this reporting."

In response to the passing of Petty, Live Nation has offered the following statement:

We are deeply saddened to learn of Tom Petty's passing. He was a titan of rock and roll, an extraordinary songwriter and performer and an American legend. It was an honor to work with him over the years and particularly on his recent 40th anniversary tour. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and all fans of this gifted artist.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers just wrapped up their 40th anniversary tour. Drawing from the ranks of his high school friends, Petty founded his first band, the Sundowners. As often happens, the band metamorphosed into the Epics and, eventually, Mudcrutch. After pulling together a demo tape in the living room of past and future bandmate Benmont Tench, Petty took his show on the road, leading his bandmates to Los Angeles to pursue fame and fortune. By 1974, the band found a home on Shelter Records and released a single, Depot Street . Despite some critical attention, the band fizzled and soon disbanded. Never one to give up, Petty enlisted Mudcrutch members Tench (keyboards) and Mike Campbell (guitar), along with Gainesville musicians Ron Blair (bass) and Stan Lynch (drums) to form the now famous lineup that was dubbed Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. They released their first album, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers on November 1976. In 2006, the band celebrated the 30th anniversary of that release.

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