Tom Petty closed the final performance before his death with amazing rendition of 'American Girl'

Tom Petty closed the final performance before his death with amazing rendition of 'American Girl'

Music fans everywhere mourned the death of a legend on Monday the 2nd of October.

A mainstay in rock since the mid-70s; Tom Petty, whether he was with or without his band, the Heartbreakers, successfully infused Californian rock with a southern twist and later, psychedelic experimentalism.

And Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, founded in the mid-1970s, quickly distinguished themselves from the heavy metal and art rock which dominated the 70's guitar scene - taking pride in going back to the roots of rock n' roll and revolutionising the genre from within.

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After forming the Heartbreakers in the mid-1970s, Petty also embarked on a solo career, the fruits of which became staples of rock radio for decades to come. Tracks such as Free Fallin' and Into the Great Wide Open, whilst pithy, had the full emotional resonance and hard-hitting delivery that Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were known for.

Finally inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002, Tom Petty sold more than 80 million records over his illustrious career.

Petty's manager, Tony Dimitriades, released a statement on Monday disclosing that the 66-year-old suffered a cardiac arrest at his home in Malibu, California, early on Monday morning. He was taken to the U.C.L.A. Medical Centre where doctors were unable to revive him. Dimitriades added that the musician was officially pronounced dead at 8:40pm, with his family, friends and bandmates by his side.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers had concluded their 40th anniversary tour just before the frontman's sudden death. And people who are mourning the rockstar have been paying tribute by revisiting the incredible performance that he made a week prior to his death. His rendition of American Girl from their eponymous debut album, in particular, has become a posthumous fan-favourite.

Watch the performance below:

Tributes poured out for the late musician on Monday evening. Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, and Def Leppard were just a few of the household names who paid their condolences to Petty.

Fellow musician, Bruce Springsteen described himself as "devastated and heartbroken", whilst KISS frontman Gene Simmons wrote on Twitter: "Another great man gone too soon. #TomPetty you were an exceptional talent. Your legacy lives on."

Folk musician John Mayer, who has repeated covered Tom Petty's songs throughout his career also offered a heartfelt tribute. "I loved Tom Petty and I covered his songs because I wanted know what it felt like to fly," he wrote, before quoting a line from one of the musician's breakout singles, Wildflowers: “you belong somewhere you feel free."

Elton John, another Rock n' Roll Hall of Famer, expressed his condolences to the Petty family, saying: "Tom Petty's music and songs are timeless. He was a wonderful writer, musician and singer. Irreplaceable and unique."

While the world will mourn the loss of this legendary talent for years to come, we are lucky to be in possession with his great anthology of music, which will continue to inspire and delight for many years to come.