The music world lost one of its brightest shining stars on Monday night. Tom Petty, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and record producer passed away from a heart attack late in the evening. Petty was a living legend and had recently finished a tour celebrating the 40th anniversary of his band The Heartbreakers.
It was initially announced that Petty had passed away from “complete cardiac arrest” at his home, but contradicting reports stated he was only ill following a cardiac episode. Those premature reports were the fault of the Los Angeles Police Department that had reported it to the media. They later confirmed that Petty passed away.
He was reportedly found unconscious at his home during the early morning hours of Monday, October 2nd. He was neither breathing nor had a pulse. The first responders managed to revive him and he was transported to the hospital in the hopes that he could be saved.
His friends and bandmates flocked to the University of California-Los Angeles Santa Monica Hospital to be by his side.
Petty has sold over 80 million albums in his career as member of the Heartbreakers, a solo artist and a member of the biggest supergroup in Rock and Roll history, the Traveling Wilburys — alongside former Beatle George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynne of Electric Light Orchestra.
He had countless hits over multiple decades, starting in the mid-to-late 70’s with the Heartbreakers and even cracking the top 10 for singles as recently as last year and scoring his first number one album in 2014 with the album Hypnotic Eye.
After leaving his initial band, Mudcrutch, he was reluctant to go solo. Instead he formed Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, a band that launched him to Rock God status and also the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame — they were inducted in 2002.
He didn’t rest on his laurels though, and continued to record and tour through the rest of the 00’s and into this decade. He completed a tour at the end of September with the Heartbreakers. So people were surprised to find out he suffered a heart attack.
Petty was surrounded by those loved ones as he passed. And his Traveling Wilbury’s bandmates George Harrison and Roy Orbison have welcomed one more mate in the afterlife.