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Rocker Tom Petty passes away at 66

Dan Weinbaum
October 03, 2017 - 8:34 am
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Rockstar Tom Petty of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers fame passed away late Monday, according to his manager.

Petty, 66, was not breathing and in full cardiac arrest when police found him earlier in the day. EMTs confirmed that they were able to get a pulse after responding to his home. Petty was taken to a nearby hospital and, according to TMZ, was put on life support.

At the hospital, Petty reportedly did not have brain activity, prompting the decision to take him off life support.

Petty sold more than 80 million records worldwide with both the Heartbreakers and the Traveling Wilburys. In 2002, he and the Heartbreakers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

He was born on October 20, 1950 in Gainesville, Florida, and dropped out of school at the age of 17 to start his music career.

Petty, Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench first came together in the early seventies as “Mudcrutch” in their hometown of Gainesville, Florida. The group first signed onto the Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Shelter Records.

After recording a couple of singles as Mudcrutch, the group disbanded but later came together and renamed themselves as Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

He was best known for songs such as Free Fallin', American Girl, Don’t do me like that and The Waiting, to name just a few.

Petty once said, “I’d like to see us break some new ground and leave some sort of mark on the music. That would be the nicest thing—to give something back, as noble as it sounds. If you could make some little dent in rock, where that little area is yours—that’s what I’m striving for now.”

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