Singer Tom Petty dies at 66 after suffering cardiac arrest

Oct 2, 2017, 9:19 PM | Updated: Oct 3, 2017, 11:42 am
Tom Petty of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers seen at KAABOO 2017 at the Del Mar Racetrack and Fairg...

Tom Petty of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers seen at KAABOO 2017 at the Del Mar Racetrack and Fairgrounds on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017, in San Diego, Calif. (Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP)

(Photo by Amy Harris/Invision/AP)

PHOENIX — Singer Tom Petty, best known as the frontman for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, died on Monday after suffering cardiac arrest, his manager confirmed. He was 66.

Petty “died peacefully” around 8:40 p.m. Pacific Time at his Malibu home “surrounded by family, his bandmates, and friends,” Tony Dimitriades, the band’s longtime manager, said in a statement.

“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,” part of the statement read. “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.”

The news of Petty’s death was confirmed amid several media outlets publishing false reports saying that Petty had died earlier Monday afternoon.

CBS News was the first to report that Petty had passed away. The outlet said it received information from the Los Angeles Police Department, but the department later said information was “inadvertently given to some media sources.”

TMZ reported the singer was on life support, but the decision was made to take him off of it after he showed no signs of brain activity.

CBS did not cite a source in its story, but tweeted that LAPD confirmed Petty’s death. CBS and Variety previously cited TMZ reporting that said Petty was “clinging to life.”

The false reports led to the scheduling of a memorial at Petty’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but that was canceled. It was not clear whether a new memorial was planned.

Petty was found unconscious and not breathing in his Malibu home earlier Monday. He was taken to UCLA-Santa Monica Hospital.

The singer wrapped a huge tour last week at the Hollywood Bowl. He did not make an Arizona stop.

Petty was scheduled to play two dates in New York in November.

The singer has enjoyed a long musical career. He arrived in the spotlight in 1976 and has sold more than 30 million albums.

Petty was nominated for 18 Grammy Awards and won three of them.

He has released three solo albums but spent a majority of his career as the frontman for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. The band released 13 albums.

Petty was born and raised in Gainesville, Florida. He was inspired by legendary acts — such as Elvis Presley and the Beatles — to take up music.

One of his first guitar teachers was future Eagles member Don Felder.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Singer Tom Petty dies at 66 after suffering cardiac arrest