Musician Tom Petty dies at age of 66

Tom Petty, legendary musician, singer-songwriter and producer, died Oct. 2 after suffering a cardiac arrest.

On Sunday, Petty was found unconscious in his Malibu home. He was placed on life support at University of California Los Angeles Santa Monica Hospital and pronounced dead Monday evening.

The Florida native was the lead singer of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, who rose to fame in the 1970’s. In his career, Petty sold more than 80 million records worldwide. His band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.

The Heartbreakers had been on their 40th anniversary tour since April 20. His most recent shows on Sept. 22- 23 and 25 were at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, where he wrapped up the 53-date tour.

Andy Gamble, freshman music major, said he is devastated by his sudden death.

“Tom Petty was an inspiration to many with his lyrics and legendary guitar work. His loss is a tragedy,” Gamble said.

Petty dropped out of high school to start his career at the age of 17 when he started the band Mudcrutch.

The iconic musician was awarded three Grammys and 18 Grammy nominations throughout his career.

Julia Knaggs, junior biology major, said she was shocked to hear about Petty’s death because he was so young.

“Sixty-six years old with cardiac arrest is really scary. I was sad to hear about his death because I grew up listening to his music with my dad. We would listen to his music together on road trips, so learning he passed away was really sad. His music brought me so much joy when I was little,” Knaggs said.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers had no intentions on retiring fully, even after 40 years in the music industry, but Petty said he ws ready to spend less time touring.

In an interview with Rolling Stone published June 30, Petty said when he was not writing songs or working in his Malibu home office, he would drive to Los Angeles to visit his two daughters and granddaughter.

In Petty’s passing, a legend in music industry was lost. He inspired millions with his iconic songs, such as, “Here Comes My Girl,” “Learning to Fly,” and Free Fallin.’”

About Audrey Stoddard

A&E Editor

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