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Tom Petty dies aged 66

Tom Petty © PA Images

Tom Petty has died after suffering a cardiac arrest, a statement issued by his manager has confirmed. He was 66.

Petty suffered a full cardiac arrest in the early hours of Monday morning (2nd October). A statement issued by his long-time manager Tony Dimitriades confirmed that he was taken to UCLA Medical Center and that he "died peacefully at 8:40PM PST surrounded by his family, his bandmates, and friends." 

Tom’s last concert took place last Monday night (25th September) at the Hollywood Bowl as part of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ 40th anniversary tour. 

The career-spanning tour also saw Tom perform at British Summer Time Hyde Park this July, in what was his first UK show in five years.

Over a music career that spanned 41 years, Tom sold more than 80million records worldwide making him among the best-selling artists of all time. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. 

He released 13 records as the lead singer of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, three solo albums and two records with both Mudcrutch and Traveling Wilburys. 

Speaking to Rolling Stone, Tom’s friend and Traveling Wilburys bandmate Bob Dylan said: “It’s shocking, crushing news. I thought the world of Tom. He was great performer, full of the light, a friend, and I’ll never forget him.”

Born in Gainesville, Florida on 20th October 1950, Tom’s passion for music was ignited when he met Elvis Presley aged ten. 

Alongside Tom Leadon he formed Mudcrutch in 1970 and following a series of line-up changes, the band released the official single ‘Depot Street’ in 1975 before splitting later that year. The group later reformed in 2007 and released two albums and a live EP. 

Formed in 1976, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers propelled Tom to stardom thanks to a series of critically acclaimed albums and anthems including ‘American Girl’, ‘Breakdown’, ‘The Waiting’, ‘Learning to Fly’, ‘Refugee’ and ‘Mary Jane’s Last Dance.’

Their most recent record ‘Hypnotic Eye’ was released in July 2014 and it was nominated for Best Rock Album at the Grammy Awards the following year.

Tom is survived by second wife Dana York Petty and his daughters from his first marriage, Adria and Annakim.

Planet Rock will be paying tribute to Tom by playing his album 'Full Moon Fever', in full from 10pm on Tuesday 3rd October 2017. Listen here.

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