R&R Hall of Famer Tom Petty dies at age 66

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    (October 2, 2017) For four decades he was one of the biggest stars in the world of popular music, a respected singer, and songwriter, and a member of the supergroup The Traveling Wilburys as well as his own legendary band, The Heartbreakers. Tom Petty has died at age 66 after suffering a heart attack. There had been some confusion earlier in the day, as CBS prematurely reported Petty's death, but by evening his manager confirmed the sad event: "On behalf of the Tom Petty family we are devastated to announce the untimely death of our father, husband, brother, leader and friend Tom Petty. He died peacefully surrounded by family, his bandmates and friends." 

    (October 2, 2017) For four decades he was one of the biggest stars in the world of popular music, a respected singer, and songwriter, and a member of the supergroup The Traveling Wilburys as well as his own legendary band, The Heartbreakers. Tom Petty has died at age 66 after suffering a heart attack. There had been some confusion earlier in the day, as CBS prematurely reported Petty's death, but by evening his manager confirmed the sad event: "On behalf of the Tom Petty family we are devastated to announce the untimely death of our father, husband, brother, leader and friend Tom Petty. He died peacefully surrounded by family, his bandmates and friends." 

    The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer broke out with the Heartbreakers in the late 1970s with a string of hits, including “Breakdown,” “Stop Draggin My Heart Around” and “Refugee.” His stories of common folks and outcasts struck a chord in a music world that appeared to be more focused on glamor, and he won a following that stayed with him for the rest of his life.

    Petty recorded a baker’s dozen albums with The Heartbreakers as well as a handful of solo albums. His solo hits included the classic, much-covered “Free Fallin’.” His work with the Traveling Wilburys (Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan George Harrison and Jeff Lynne) made him an even bigger star, and his regular touring and recording kept him in the limelight even as many of his rock peers faded from view. Petty played the coveted Super Bowl halftime in 2008.

    Petty had recently finished his 40th anniversary tour with The Heartbreakers and was regularly working on his own Sirius/XM radio station.

    The death of Tom Petty at such a young age is another terrible blow for popular music in a year that has already seen too many deaths. 

    By Chris Rizik

     
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