Tom Petty, Icon of American Rock Music, Dead at 66 [UPDATE]

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Tom Petty performs onstage during MusiCares Person of the Year honoring Tom Petty at the Los Angeles Convention Center on February 10, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.  (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

UPDATE: Tom Petty's manager has confirmed that the singer died Monday night.

His family posted this statement:

Tom Petty, a prolific rock 'n' roll bard who wrote and sang decades of hit songs with his band Tom Petty and the Heatbreakers, was pulled off life support Monday after experiencing a heart attack. He is 66.

Celebrity news source TMZ first reported Petty having been rushed to the hospital by EMTs Sunday evening after he was discovered unconscious and in cardiac arrest in his Malibu home. TMZ's sources later updated that because Petty showed no sign of brain activity after arriving at the hospital, he was removed from life support. The Los Angeles Police Department initially stated that Petty died Monday afternoon, but has since rescinded its statement.


Born and raised in Gainesville, Florida, Petty founded the Heartbreakers in 1976 after the breakup of previous band Mudcrutch. The Heartbreakers would go on to release 13 albums, five of which went platinum. Petty also released three solo albums, two of which went multi-platinum.

Among the hits Petty penned over his 41-year career were "Refugee," "Free Fallin'" and "Mary Jane's Last Dance."

His band also won a Grammy as the backing band for Johnny Cash's Unchained album in 1996.

The band recently finished their 40th Anniversary Tour, which concluded with a show at the Hollywood Bowl. One of Petty's last performances was at UC Berkeley's Greek Theater. Music journalist Dave Pehling attended the show, and he says that the tour was rumored to be one of band's last and Petty showed no signs of slowing down.

“It was hard to imagine that he was going to stop playing altogether," Pehling said. "He seemed to be having too much of a good time.”

Petty and the Heartbreakers played several shows in the Bay Area, including multiple appearances at the outdoor festival Outside Lands. The band released the recording of their 1999 show at the Fillmore as a DVD called High Grass Dogs.

Plenty of musicians have shared condolences after Petty was hospitalized, including Bob Dylan and John Mayer. After Petty's manager Tony Dimitriades shared the news of his death, local comedian W. Kamau Bell tweets showed the influence of Petty's work, beyond its musicality:

Follow this story for updates.