Tom Petty has died at age 66 after a full cardiac arrest
Tom Petty has died in UCLA Santa Monica Hospital after being rushed there late Sunday night, after being discovered unconscious in his Malibu home. He was not breathing and reportedly "had no brain activity" following a full cardiac arrest. He was taken off life support at the hospital.
Tom Petty was an American legend, making the Rock and Hall of Fame off of gigantic hits such as "I Won't Back Down" and "American Girl". Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers also recorded the iconic "Free Fallin'".
In the late 1980s, Petty travelled with Bob Dylan and George Harrison, in a supergroup called the Traveling Wilburys. They recorded two albums together.
Petty was born on October 20th, 1950. Growing up in Gainesville Florida, he dropped out of high school to join a band, and seemingly found his path ever since. He loved rock and roll, and eat Elvis Presley at age ten. Seeing The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show only cemented in his heart the desire to be a musician.
"The minute I saw the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show — and it's true of thousands of guys — there was the way out. There was the way to do it. You get your friends and you're a self-contained unit. And you make the music. And it looked like so much fun. It was something I identified with. I had never been hugely into sports. ... I had been a big fan of Elvis. But I really saw in the Beatles that here's something I could do. I knew I could do it. It wasn't long before there were groups springing up in garages all over the place."
Indeed, he did it.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers earned their Hollywood Walk of Fame star in 1999, and UCLA's Award for Lifetime Musical Achievement earlier in 1996. He was given Billboard's Century Award in 2005, the magazine's top award, and the key to the city of Gainesville, Florida, his home town, in 2006.
Petty was a musical legend like no other, and he will be missed severely.