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Singer Tom Petty Dies at 66

Coral Aman, Staff Writer

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On Monday, October 2nd, singer Tom Petty died at age 66 in Santa Monica, CA. He was at his house in Malibu, CA that morning and suffered from cardiac arrest. Petty was transported to the UCLA Medical Center but was not able to regain consciousness. At 8:40 p.m., Tom Petty passed away with friends and family by his side.

Tom Petty was born in Florida in 1950. Inspired by the Beatles and Elvis Presley, he became interested in music at a young age. When he was seventeen, Petty dropped out of high school and began his music career in a country rock band called Mudcrutch. In 1974, along with Mudcrutch, he relocated to Los Angeles. After the band had an unsuccessful first single, they split up.

Tom Petty’s musical career officially kick started in 1976 when he formed the band Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers with two of his Mudcrutch bandmates: Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench. Two other musicians, Ron Blair and Stan Lynch, also joined the new band. The band produced multiple successful albums with hit songs, such as “Breakdown,” “American Girl,” “Refugee,” “The Waiting,” and “Don’t Come Around Here No More.” Petty also recorded the song “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” with Stevie Nicks and collaborated with Bob Dylan, George Harrison, and Johnny Cash.

In 1988, Tom Petty formed the Traveling Wilburys with Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, and Roy Orbison. The group recorded a successful album and won a Grammy award for Best Rock Performance. Tom Petty then took time to work as a solo artist.  Some of his most well known solo hits include “Free Fallin,” “I Won’t Back Down,” and “Runnin’ Down a Dream.” Petty returned to record music with the Heartbreakers. In 2002, the band released their 11th album and they were admitted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2006, the band performed at the Super Bowl XLII halftime show. Petty continued to produce music as solo artist and with the Heartbreakers. He toured with the Heartbreakers and, in 2010, the band released their 13th album.

This September, Tom Petty joined the Heartbreakers on a 40th anniversary tour. The tour ended with a concert at the Hollywood Bowl. Just one week later, Petty was found unconscious and, and he passed away due to cardiac arrest. He will forever be remembered as a rock and roll legend and a talented singer-songwriter and guitarist.

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The Official Student News of Green Hope High School
Singer Tom Petty Dies at 66