Tom Petty, the American rocker who fronted one of the country’s longest-running, most successful bands, is dead at 66, according to his longtime manager.
Petty had suffered cardiac arrest at his Malibu home early Monday morning “and was taken to UCLA Medical Center but could not be revived,” Tony Dimitriades, longtime manager of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, said in a statement on behalf of the musician’s family. “He died peacefully at 8:40pm PT surrounded by family, his bandmates and friends.”
The news came hours after TMZ first reported that Petty was found unconscious in full cardiac arrest at his Malibu home. CBS News later reported his death, but the outlet walked back that report as the Los Angeles Police Department issued a statement that it had no information on Petty’s passing.
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers had just concluded their 40th anniversary tour, which Petty had said would be the band’s last big, country-spanning tour.
Originally from Florida, Petty rose to fame as the frontman of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, whose 1976 self-titled debut featured his unique nasal voice and guitar work. His career, both with the band and as a solo act, spanned decades and included hits such as “Rockin’ Around (With You),” “Breakdown,” “Free Fallin’” and “Mary Jane’s Last Dance.”
The voices who celebrated Petty spanned musical genres and decades (and because of the mistaken reports, many offered their condolences before Petty actually died).
John Mayer said he covered Petty’s songs “because I wanted to know what it felt like to fly.” Shania Twain said she treasured the fond memories of their time together this past summer. Stephen King mourned “What a bad day this has been, in so many ways.”
“It’s shocking, crushing news,” Bob Dylan told Rolling Stone in a statement. “I thought the world of Tom. He was a great performer, full of the light, a friend, and I’ll never forget him.”
Here is how musicians, artists, movie directors and even the NFL reacted to news of Petty’s death.
Damn ….Tom Petty I remember standing backstage w him & he tells me 'Go Get Em at a. Presentation #rockAnointed
— Chuck D (@MrChuckD) October 2, 2017
— Sheryl Crow (@SherylCrow) October 2, 2017
I can't believe we have lost Tom Petty on this already horrible day. My love to his wife & children and the entire Heartbreaker family.
— Peter Frampton (@peterframpton) October 2, 2017
This evening's Portland show began with a minute's silence. The entire arena lit only by people's phones.
When words fail, sometimes quiet is the most eloquent.
— Coldplay (@coldplay) October 3, 2017
And how many of us want to find that person we first kissed to Free Fallin' & ask "you okay? Safe? Do you know I'll always love you?"
— Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) October 3, 2017
Just when I thought today could not get any worse…
R.I.P. Tom Petty. Thank you for your beautiful music and inspiration.
— Kid Rock (@KidRock) October 2, 2017
Oh man Tom Petty is gone. He was really great. He will be missed. Thoughts and prayers go to his family right now. RIP
— Cyndi Lauper (@cyndilauper) October 2, 2017
— HumanRightsCampaign (@HRC) October 2, 2017
— Cameron Crowe (@CameronCrowe) October 2, 2017
I am so grateful for Tom Petty's music.
Feels selfish to want more, but I always will. Rest in peace. https://t.co/EBOt6J38zx
— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) October 2, 2017
Praying for all those affected by Vegas last night.
And now the loss of one of my great influences Tom Petty today.
— Bon Jovi (@BonJovi) October 2, 2017
Today Just gets worse . The very talented musician , writer Tom Petty has just passed away . Another great has… https://t.co/7L6gdlMD3E
— Meat Loaf (@RealMeatLoaf) October 2, 2017
RIP Tom Petty Such a shitty day
— Courtney Love Cobain (@Courtney) October 2, 2017
— Gene Simmons (@genesimmons) October 3, 2017
Man this cannot be happening. Not Tom Petty please. Our deepest love and condolences to his family and band. A brother and true believer.
— Stevie Van Zandt (@StevieVanZandt) October 2, 2017
This post will be continually updated.