Legendary Rocker Tom Petty Passes Away at 66
It was a rough day for the music community last Monday. As many Americans mourned the senseless attacks during a music festival shooting in Las Vegas, veteran rocker and icon Tom Petty passed away at that evening.
News of Tom Petty’s hospitalization came midafternoon on Monday when it was reported he was hospitalized after suffering a full cardiac arrest after being found unconscious Monday morning in his Malibu home. First reported by TMZ, Petty was taken to UCLA Medical Center and put on life support. Hours later, TMZ reported the musician was taken off life support due to no brain activity and was presumed dead.
CBS News was the first to officially report Petty’s passing. Posts and memoriams around the globe began pouring in on social media. Musicians such as John Mayer, Peter Frampton, Ryan Adams, and Grace Potter all began expressing their condolences. Music magazine Rolling Stone also reported the singer’s passing.
Hours passed and memorials kept pouring in until news broke that Petty was still alive and “clinging to life” while being off life support. It was reported by CBS News that LAPD officials could neither confirm nor deny the singer’s passing as there was no criminal activity involved. A coroner at the hospital confirmed he received no notice of the singer’s passing.
Time passed as fans hoped and prayed the singer would hang on and make it through the night. Sadly, at 8:40pm PST, he was pronounced dead and was not able to be revived. The death was confirmed by long time manager and friend Tony Dimitriades.
On behalf of the Tom Petty family, we are devastated to announce the untimely death of our father, husband, brother, leader and friend Tom Petty.
He suffered cardiac arrest at his home in Malibu in the early hours of this morning and was taken to UCLA Medical Center but could not be revived. He died peacefully at 8:40PM PST surrounded by family, his bandmates, and friends.
Petty had just wrapped a tour commemorating the 40th anniversary of his band the Heartbreakers. The tour consisted of 53 shows across North America. The band had just wrapped two nights at the Hollywood Bowl at the end of September, the last two of the tour. In an earlier interview, Petty didn’t know if he would ever do a tour of that scale again. Although the singer had no plans of hanging up his guitar, he spoke a little about the effects of long touring in one of his last interviews with the LA Times.
“It is grueling to do a very, very long one,” he said. “This was quite a long one. It’s sometimes physically hard. But then the lights go down, you hear the crowd and you’re all better. You feel like, ‘OK, let’s do it.”
Around the world fans have been paying their respects to the fallen icon. Artists such as Wilco, Jack Johnson, Kesha, Miley Cyrus, and Gov’t Mule have recently covered Petty’s songs live on their respective tours in wake of the news. Singer Bruce Springsteen paid tribute to Petty as well during his first “Springsteen on Broadway” show referring to Petty as his “long lost brother” and dedicating the night to him.
Tom Petty was icon. He was a true rocker who valued music over everything and always had song for how you were feeling. I had personal connections with music through my hardest times and losing the singer felt like losing a friend. While he’s no longer around to give us any new music, we will always cherish the beautiful songs he’s given us.
Rest in peace, Tom…