ByTrevor Norkey, writer at
Writer, filmmaker, actor and film enthusiast.
Trevor Norkey

Tom Petty, whose brilliant music career with his band the Heartbreakers included such hits as "American Girl," "Don't Do Me Like That" and "Breakdown," has died of a heart attack. He was found unconcious in his Malibu, California home on Sunday in full cardiac arrest and was rushed to the hospital, where he passed away on Monday.

Many news outlets mistakenly reported that Petty had died on Monday afternoon, but his spokesperson confirmed his passing to the Associated Press on Monday evening. It came as a shock to many fans since Petty had just finished up an acclaimed tour last week, with his final stop at the Hollywood Bowl.

Petty's 1989 album Full Moon Fever included what is likely his most notable song, "Free Fallin'," which peaked at #7 on Billboard's Hot 100 and became his longest-charting hit. Throughout his career, Petty would team up with other musicians, such as George Harrison, Roy Orbinson, Bob Dylan and Jeff Lynne of Electric Lights Orchestra; together they formed the Traveling Wilburys supergroup, known for the songs "Handle with Care" and "End of the Line."

In addition to a stunning music career, Petty is also beloved for his role of Lucky on the classic animated series King of the Hill. In total, Petty voiced Lucky in 28 episodes, and brought the character to life with warmth and humanity.

Petty's songs appeared in movies and TV series such as Fast Times at Ridgemont High, The Silence of the Lambs, Jerry Maguire, The Sopranos, The Wire and many more. Celebrities and fellow artists remembered Petty as a musical giant:

Petty earned his place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. He never stopped rocking, even through the final weeks of his life, and is sure to be missed by all who heard his music. Petty is survived by his wife and two daughters.

[Source: TMZ, Associated Press]


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