Tom Petty dies aged 66

Tom Petty of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers performs during their "40th Anniversary Tour" in Philad

Tom Petty of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers performs during their "40th Anniversary Tour" in Philadelphia. Petty has died at age 66. Picture: OWEN SWEENEY - Credit: Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP

Legendary US rock star Tom Petty has died at the age of 66, his family has announced.

Tom Petty performs with The Heartbreakers at Madison Square Garden in New York, 2008. Picture: JASON

Tom Petty performs with The Heartbreakers at Madison Square Garden in New York, 2008. Picture: JASON DECROW - Credit: AP

A statement on the singer’s Twitter page said: “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.”

It went on: “He suffered cardiac arrest at his home in Malibu in the early hours of this morning and was taken to UCLA Medical Centre but could not be revived.”

Tony Dimitriades, manager of Tom Petty And the Heartbreakers, added in the statement that he died peacefully surrounded by family, his bandmates and friends.

Petty, usually backed by his longtime band the Heartbreakers, was known for hits such as Free Fallin, Refugee and American Girl.


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The Florida native with the shaggy blond hair and gaunt features drew upon the Byrds, the Beatles and other musicians he loved while growing up in the 1960s.

He was also a member of the impromptu supergroup the Traveling Wilburys, which included Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynne.

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Petty and the Heartbreakers had recently completed a 40th anniversary tour, one he hinted would be their last.

Petty, whose worldwide sales topped 80 million records, was inducted into the Rock Hall of Fame in 2002.

What are your memories of Tom Petty? Share your memories by emailing us here.

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