Tom Petty, the rocker best known as the frontman of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, is dead at 66, CBS News has confirmed. The legendary musician endured a cardiac arrest and was found unconscious and not breathing in his Malibu house Sunday night. He was taken to UCLA Santa Monica Hospital and put on life support, reports TMZ. Petty rose to fame in the 1970s with his group, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. The band put out several hits, such as “American Girl,” “Free Fallin’,” “Breakdown,” “Listen to Her Heart” and more.
The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. Even though Petty and his band debuted their first self-titled album in 1976, they continued to play over the last four decades. Petty played his final show last Monday, performing three sold-out shows at the Hollywood Bowl to complete their 40th-anniversary tour.
The group wrote on their site that the tour included 53 shows in 24 states. In December, Petty told Rolling Stone that he believed this could be the group’s final tour together. He stated, “It is very likely we will continue playing, but will we take on 50 shows in 1 tour?
I don’t think so. I would be lying if I did not say I was thinking this may be the last major one. We are all on the backside of our sixties. I have a granddaughter today I’d love to see as much as I can. I really don’t want to spend my life on the road.
This tour will take me away for four months. With just a little kid, that’s lots of time.” Petty, who released three solo albums and 13 records with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, also participate in the 1980s supergroup the Traveling Wilburys with Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynne. The rocker was also very busy with his SiriusXM station, Tom Petty Radio.
He personally oversaw the station and had his own interview show called “Tom Talks to Cool People” where he interviewed musicians such as Micky Dolenz of the Monkees and former Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham.