Tom Petty, front man for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and a seminal figure in rock and roll, was confirmed dead Monday evening, after confusing reports prematurely reported his passing earlier in the day.
Petty, 66, who suffered bouts of drug and alcohol addiction in the 1990s, was felled by a heart attack. He was found unconscious in his Malibu home Sunday night.
Petty was rushed to UCLA Santa Monica Hospital by para-medics who were called to his home after receiving reports that he was unconscious and not breathing.
CBS News reported that Petty had died when his life support was pulled after he showed no signs of brain activity.
Petty, however, was still a live and “clinging to death,” according to media reports. CBS retracted its story
But Tom Petty’s longtime manager confirmed that he died Monday evening surrounded by friends, family and bandmates, according to The Los Angeles Times.
Petty and his band were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. It is known for such hits as “American Girl,” “Free Fallin’,” “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” “Breakdown,” “Listen to Her Heart” and more.
Petty played his last show on Monday (Sept. 25) and gave no indication he was in ill health. He performing three sold-out shows at the Hollywood Bowl to mark the band’s 40th anniversary.
The tour was full-blown, including 53 shows in 24 states. Petty told Rolling Stone last December it was likely the group’s last major tour.
“It’s very likely we’ll keep playing, but will we take on 50 shows in one tour? I don’t think so. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was thinking this might be the last big one,” he said.
He noted in the interview that band members were all “on the backside of our sixties.”
Petty also played with The Traveling Wilburys in the 1980s, a supergroup that counted among its members, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, George Harrison and Jeff Lynne and other musicians.
Petty released three solo albums and 13 albums with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
A source said the legendary musician was found “unconscious” and “not breathing”, according to gossip site TMZ.
Petty revealed in a 2015 book, Warren Zanes’ “Petty: The Biography,” that he was a heroin addict in his 50s during the 1990s.
Whether drugs contributed to his death is unknown.
Petty, however, talked about looking forward to spending time with his grandchildren.
“I have a granddaughter now I’d like to see as much as I can. I don’t want to spend my life on the road. This tour will take me away for four months. With a little kid, that’s a lot of time,” he told Rolling Stone.