Tom Petty dies at age 66

Petty passed away peacefully Monday night

After false reports Monday afternoon, it has been confirmed that singer/songwriter Tom Petty has died at the age of 66 from a heart attack. Petty’s publicist, Carla Sacks, released the following statement, confirming his death.

“On behalf of the Tom Petty family, we are devastated to announce the untimely death of 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 — Tony Dimitriades, longtime manager of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers on behalf of the family.”

TMZ broke the news of Petty’s condition saying his family made the decision to pull life support after arriving at the hospital with no brain activity. A chaplain was called to his bedside shortly Petty arrived as he wasn’t expected to live out the day. However, up until his death, Petty was “clinging to life.”

Authorities told The Hollywood Reporter they responded to Petty’s Malibu home around 10:52 a.m. after receiving a call he’d suffered a heart attack. Emergency responders were able to get a pulse back, but THR was told at the time, Petty was in critical condition.

Midday Monday, CBS News initially reported that Petty had died, but the publication and the LAPD retracted the statement, saying, “The LAPD has no information about the passing of singer Tom Petty. Initial information was inadvertantly provided to some media sources. However, the LAPD has no investigative role in this matter. We apologize for any inconvenience in this reporting.”

“It’s shocking, crushing news,” his longtime friend and collaborator Bob Dylan tells the LA Times. “I thought the world of Tom. He was great performer, full of the light, a friend, and I’ll never forget him.”

Petty had just wrapped the 40th anniversary tour with his band, The Heartbreakers, with three sold out hometown shows at the Hollywood Bowl on September 25th. Petty was expecting to semi retire following the tour, but still planning to play concerts.

The group rose to fame in the 1970’s with their hit “Breakdown” before climbing the charts with “Refugee,” “Don’t Do Me Like That” and more. Besides going solo in the late 80’s and releasing albums like Full Moon Fever and Wildflowers with songs such as “Runnin’ Down The Dream,” “Free Fallin’,” “I Won’t Back Down” and “Mary Jane’s Last Dance,” Petty also recorded as part of The Traveling Wilburys with Dylan, George Harrison, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynne.

Petty and the Heartbreakers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002, and have collected three Grammy Awards and 18 nominations over the years, several for his solo efforts. Petty has sold more than 40 million albums worldwide.

Petty also hosted a SiriusXM show called Tom Petty’s Buried Treasure which aired on Tom Petty Radio, Channel 31. In the show, Petty introduced music fans to a set of little-known musical delights and classic tracks alike. The sat rad even dedicated the evening to Petty by airing his show on SiriusXM’s Volume, Channel 106, in place of regular programming.

He is survived by Dana; two daughters, Adria and Annakim; Dana’s son, Dylan; and Petty’s younger brother, Bruce. No service details have been announced. More will be revealed as it becomes available.

Considering many celebs took to social media earlier in the day to express their condolences, tweets are mixed with ones after Petty’s confirmed passing.

Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites. Email: