UPDATE #2: After about half a day of speculation, rumors, and false reports, Buzzfeed reports that Tom Petty has died at the age of 66 at 8:40 PST via a statement from his longtime manager, 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 8:40 p.m. PT surrounded by family, his bandmates and friends.”
UPDATE: According to TMZ, Petty is currently still clinging to life, but a chaplain has been called to his hospital room. The family apparently has a do not resuscitate order in place, and the singer is not expected to live throughout the day.
The LAPD confirmed their initial information provided was incorrect in a series of tweets from their official account:
Original story below.
Tom Petty, one of the greatest singer-songwriters America has ever known has died. The news was confirmed by CBS. He was 66 years old. According to TMZ, Petty was found unconscious in his home in Malibu, California, having suffered from what appeared to be total cardiac arrest. He wasn’t breathing, and was subsequently rushed by paramedics to the UCLA Santa Monica Hospital where he showed no signs of brain activity, and a decision was made to pull his life support. Buzzfeed now reports that a Los Angeles County sheriff’ official initially responded to a 911 call at Petty’s Malibu home at 10:50 PM Sunday evening.
Born in Gainesville, Florida on October 20, 1950, Petty’s interest in the field of rock and roll was apparently sparked at an early age when he got to meet Elvis Presley who was filming a movie called Follow That Dream near to his hometown. It was spurred on after watching the Beatles perform on the Ed Sullivan show in 1964. Petty formed his first band called the Epics, shortly after that. They would eventually rename themselves Mudcrutch and head west to try and make it out in Hollywood. That group ultimately fell apart and out of its ashes sprung Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers.
In 1976, they released their self-titled album, which fueled by the songs “Breakdown” and “American Girl,” helped propel them to superstardom. Over the next several decades, both with the Hearbreakers and as a solo artist, Petty compiled a collection of albums and songs that have sold in the millions and solidified his role as one of America’s truly great musical artists, albums like, Wildflowers, Damn The Torpedoes, and Into The Great Wide Open.
Petty spent much of 2016 celebrating his past by hitting the road for one last go-around with The Heartbreakers. That run ended just last week with a final performance at the Hollywood Bowl.
Petty is survived by his two daughters Adria and Kimberly and his wife Dana.