After initial conflicting reports and mass confusion, Tom Petty’s long-term manager has officially confirmed the rock legend’s death at age 66-years-old. An official statement was posted on Petty’s Twitter account confirming that Tom Petty was dead after fans flocked to social media in search of the truth.
While many hoped the “I Won’t Back Down Singer” was the victim of another Internet rumor or hoax, the confirmation came as a crushing blow. It is with sadness that fans learned Tom Petty passed away at the UCLA Medical Center on October 2, 2017, at 8:40 p.m. PT, after suffering from cardiac arrest.
Tom Petty became famous with his band Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers that was founded in 1976. He also fronted the band Traveling Wilburys and had a successful solo career.
Known for songs such as “American Girl,” “I Won’t Back Down,” “Free Fallin,” “Runnin Down a Dream,” “Breakdown,” “Don’t Do Me Like That,” and many more, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001. The band has a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.
You may read the official statement as shared by manager Tony Dimitriades below.
Full statement: pic.twitter.com/FGCVI5yIaa
— Tom Petty (@tompetty) October 3, 2017
Tom Petty has two children from his first marriage to Jane Benyo, Adria, and AnnaKimberly Violette. Petty has a stepson from his second marriage to Dana York Epperson, Dylan.
AnnaKimberly poured her grief out on Instagram in a series of photos and writings expressing how much she loves her father and what he has meant not only to her but to American and music culture as well.
She described watching her father in concert just a week ago as Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers celebrated forty years with a groundbreaking tour. She has the profile name on Instagram “DadLivesMatterOneLove.”
Musicians, actors, and the public continue to send messages of shock, sadness, and support to Tom Petty’s loved ones following news of his death. Hashtags #RIPTomPetty and #TomPettyRIP are trending across social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Tom Petty spoke of the Heartbreakers 40th tour and said he felt that it would be the last one for the band. He mentioned being a grandfather and said there were more things he wanted to do in life as he was older.
They spent 53 days touring and Petty described how he would still get nervous before hitting the stage. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers last show was at the Hollywood Bowl on September 25, 2017.
Our thoughts, prayers, and condolences go out to the Petty family at this time.