Rock and Roll Icon Tom Petty Dead at 66

News - Sal Bono

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Tom Petty has died.

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The 66-year-old "Runnin’ Down a Dream" singer was not breathing when he was discovered at his Malibu home Sunday.

He had apparently suffered cardiac arrest and was taken to UCLA Santa Monica Hospital where he was put on a respirator, according to reports.

Sources told TMZ that the musician was taken off life support Monday after it was found that he had no brain activity.

CBS News originally reported Petty's death Monday afternoon but later retracted their statement, saying  the LAPD could not confirm early reports of his passing.

Petty, who just concluded a long summer trek with his backing band, The Heartbreakers, was celebrating 40 years with the group.

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The “Learning to Fly” singer was born in Gainesville, Fla., on October 20, 1950. At 17, he dropped out of high school to pursue music with his band Mudcrutch.

The band lasted five years before splitting in 1975.

Petty then went on to front Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

The band released their self-titled debut album in 1976 that featured the hit singles “Breakdown” and “American Girl.”

In 1988, after receiving critical and fan acclaim, Petty joined the rock and roll supergroup The Traveling Wilburys, which featured George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynne.

In 1989, he released his solo debut, Full Moon Fever, and followed it up with the three-time platinum and critically acclaimed, Wildflower in 1994, where it earned him the Grammy for "Best Rock Album." 

He released his third and final solo album, Highway Companion, in 2006. That same year, he was given the keys to the city to his hometown of Gainesville.

Throughout his career, Petty would continue to record and play with The Heartbreakers. In 2002, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Jakob Dylan of The Wallflowers, the son of his former Wilburys bandmate, Bob Dylan.

The Heartbreakers released their 13th and final record, Hypnotic Eye, in 2014 and have toured since. The band recently wrapped up a string of dates on Sept. 25, at the famed Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, where they played three nights.

During his illustrious career, he won 11 Grammy awards and in 2016 was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. 

Petty has two daughters, Adria and Kimberly, from his first marriage to Jane Beyno, which ended in divorce in 1996.

In 2001, he married Dana York Petty. They have no children together. 

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