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Tom Petty, Legendary Rocker & Frontman Of The Heartbreakers, Dies At 66

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Legendary rocker and frontman of the longtime band the Heartbreakers, Tom Petty, passed away on Monday after suffering a cardiac arrest. He was 66.

Tony Dimitriades, longtime manager of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers confirmed the news, reported CNN. The singer was rushed to the hospital after he was found unconscious in his Malibu home.

With hits like ‘Free Fallin’,’ ‘American Girl’ and ‘I Won’t Back Down’, Petty and the Heartbreakers became the face of the genre that is known as heartland rock. They entered the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.

The rockhall.com states:

“Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers are the quintessential American individualists. They sang about ordinary struggles in an extraordinary way. From immortalizing the common man in their hit singles to preventing record execs from raising prices, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were the champions of the average citizen.” 

Recording with the Heartbreakers, the band he formed in the mid-1970s, and on his own, Petty wrote pithy, hardheaded songs that gave a contemporary clarity to 1960s roots. His voice was grainy with a Florida drawl that he proudly displayed.

Petty’s songs were staples of FM rock radio through decades, and with hits like “Refugee”, “Don’t Come Around Here No More”, “Free Fallin'” and “Into the Great Wide Open”.

He also sold millions of albums and headlined arenas and festivals well into 2017. He played the Super Bowl halftime show in 2008 and entered the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.

Tributes started pouring from all quarters in after the announcement of Petty’s death. The Rolling Stone magazine wrote:

“In the late 1970s, Petty’s romanticized tales of rebels, outcasts and refugees started climbing the pop charts. When he sang, his voice was filled with a heartfelt drama that perfectly complemented the Heartbreakers’ ragged rock & roll. Songs like “The Waiting,” “You Got Lucky,” “I Won’t Back Down,” “Learning to Fly” and “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” all dominated Billboard’s rock chart, and the majority of Petty’s albums have been certified either gold or platinum.” 

Photo courtesy: Chicago Tribune

With inputs from IANS

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