(LOS ANGELES, LANKAPUVATH) –Rocker Tom Petty died Monday after being rushed to a Los Angeles hospital, according to Tony Dimitriades, longtime manager of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. Dimitriades confirmed Petty’s death on behalf of the performer’s family.
He was 66.
“He suffered cardiac arrest at his home in Malibu in the early hours of this morning and was taken to UCLA Medical Center but could not be revived. He died peacefully at 8:40pm PT surrounded by family, his bandmates and friends,” Dimitriades said in a statement.
With his nasally voice and chiming guitar, Petty and his longtime band, the Heartbreakers, churned out an instantly recognizable brand of sturdy, heartland rock that made them a classic-radio staple for decades. Petty, along with the band, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.
The group finished a summer tour with three performances at the Hollywood Bowl last week.
Petty and the Heartbreakers first came to fame in the 1970s. It was both with that group and as a solo artist that Petty had a string of hits across the decades, including “Free Fallin’,” “American Girl” and “I Won’t Back Down.”
Their 1976 debut contained a minor hit, “Breakdown,” but it wasn’t until Petty’s third album, “Damn the Torpedoes,” that he and the band broke through to the mainstream.
That 1980 album won critical raves, went platinum and spawned the hits “Don’t Do Me Like That” and “Refugee.”
Petty sang with Stevie Nicks that same year on her smash hit, “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around.” The duet kicked off a long and fruitful period of collaboration between Petty and other artists.
He recorded “Don’t Come Around Here No More” — memorable for its trippy, Mad Hatter-themed music video — with the Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart in 1985. Petty joined Bob Dylan on tour the next year, which also included dates with the Grateful Dead.
He joined fellow music legends Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, and Roy Orbison in 1988 to form The Traveling Wilburys. They released two studio albums.