The legendary musician Tom Petty suffered a full cardiac arrest and was found unconscious and not breathing in his Malibu home Sunday night. He was taken to UCLA Santa Monica Hospital. Petty and his band debuted their first self-titled record in 1976 and continued to perform over the past four decades. Petty played his last show last Monday, performing three sold-out shows at the Hollywood Bowl to conclude their 40th anniversary tour.
Today we remember an American musician, singer, songwriter, multi instrumentalist and record producer. Tom Petty was born October 20, 1950, in Gainesville, Florida. His interest in rock and roll music began at age ten when he met Elvis Presley. In the summer of 1961, his uncle was working on the set of Presley's film Follow That Dream in nearby Ocala, and invited Petty to come down and watch the shoot. In a 2006 interview, Petty said that he knew he wanted to be in a band the moment he saw the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers have been a household name for nearly 40 years, but before the band made it big with rock-radio staples like “Breakdown” and “Refugee,” the Southern rockers started out in Gainesville, Fla., as a spinoff of the band Mudcrutch. The band has had some major movie star moments.Petty and the Heartbreakers are known for working with A-list stars for their music videos. Johnny Depp starred in the video for the 1991 song “Into the Great Wide Open, while Kim Basinger appeared in the video for "Mary Jane's Last Dance." But the band also surprised fans when they wrote and recorded the entire soundtrack for the 1996 Jennifer Aniston flick “She’s The One.” And Petty even has a bit of a movie resume of his own; in 1997, the rocker played a mayor in the Kevin Costner movie, “The Postman.” It took the band nearly 40 years years to get a No. 1 album on the Billboard charts. Hard to believe, but the band’s most recent offering, 2014’s “Hypnotic Eye,” is the first time the Florida rockers have ever reached the top spot on the Billboard 100 chart. While the band has enjoyed millions of record sales over four decades, they’ve never had a number one single.
Some things that you may not knew about this artist, he got into a battle with his record company…over a dollar. Back in 1981, Petty got into a heated battle with MCA Records over the list price for his "Hard Promises” album. While MCA wanted to issue the release with an “inflated” price of $9.98, Petty insisted it be listed at $8.98, and he even threatened to change the album title to "Eight Ninety Eight." In the end, Petty and rock fans everywhere won when the company went with the lower price. Tom Petty took guitar lessons from Don Felder of The Eagles. He also has his own XM radio station. In 1999, the band received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Sam Smith, singer of the song “Stay With Me” recently settled with Tom Petty for copying his song, “I Won’t Back Down”.
Tom'slast tweet, on Sept. 29, thanked fans for supporting the tour.
Petty is survived by his wife Dana York Epperson, who he married in 2001 after meeting her for the first time at one of his concerts in 1991, and two daughters from his first marriage to Jane Benyo. Petty married Benyo in 1974, divorcing 22 years later.
“It’s shocking, crushing news,” Bob Dylan told Rolling Stone in a statement. “I thought the world of Tom. He was great performer, full of the light, a friend, and I’ll never forget him.”
My ❤️ goes out to all the people affected by the horrible shooting in Las Vegas, & to family,friends & fans of Tom Petty, of which I’m one.— Carole King (@Carole_King) October 2, 2017
Mr Petty, thanks for all of it— Russell Crowe (@russellcrowe) October 2, 2017
Oh my 💔. One of the greatest. Sending love & light to his family, band/crew & legions of fans forever touched by the music around the 🌎. https://t.co/llhqP73tr2— Mandy Moore (@TheMandyMoore) October 2, 2017
I loved Tom Petty and I covered his songs because I wanted know what it felt like to fly.— John Mayer (@JohnMayer) October 2, 2017
“you belong somewhere you feel free.”
RIP Tom Petty— Ryan Adams (@TheRyanAdams) October 2, 2017
Thank you for giving so much, a lifetime of inspiration and love. Your music has changed this world for the better. pic.twitter.com/jZsjIN5Xu3