Tom Petty, Dead at 66

Hit rock musician Tom Petty, frontman of the band Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, died Monday night from cardiac arrest. Several news sources, including CBS and TMZ, incorrectly reported that Petty had died several hours before he actually did. He was 66, only a few weeks short of his 67th birthday.

Earlier that morning, Petty was found unconscious at his home, not breathing and in full cardiac arrest, before being rushed to UCLA Santa Monica hospital near his home in Malibu. Paramedics found Petty alive but upon his arrival at the hospital, doctors found no brain activity, and his family made the decision to pull him from life support.

The news was met with an outpouring of sympathies and grievance from friends and fans. Bruce Springsteen, a lifelong friend of Petty, tweeted his sadness early Tuesday morning.

Petty was born in October of 1950 in Florida. His father was an alcoholic who often beat and abused him and his mother. His interest in music sparked from watching Elvis Presley perform on the set of the 1962 film Follow That Dream. He reached fame after his bands 1976 debut album became a hit in the United Kingdom, and later the United States. He was inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.

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