Spokesperson Confirms Tom Petty Dead At 66 — Sad Details About Why The Iconic Musician Was Taken Off Life Support

Photo: TMZ
Tom Petty Has Passed Away At 66 — Taken Off Life Support After Cardiac Arrest
Buzz, Heartbreak

Another music legend lost tragically too young.

After confusion about the singer's death across the web this afternoon, at 11:59PM on Monday October 2, 2017 a spokesperson for the family and band confirmed that Tom Petty has died at 66.

“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,’’ the statement from Tom Dimitriades, longtime manager of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers says.

Music legend Tom Petty was taken off of life support. The singer was rushed to the emergency room last night after he was found unconscious, not breathing and in full cardiac arrest by EMT's last night at his home in Malibu.

People Magazine shared that "Los Angeles County Fire Department officials confirm that they were dispatched to the Malibu home of an unconscious male around 10:45 p.m. on Sunday night and transported him to a local hospital. The Blast confirmed a 66-year-old man was transported from an address matching Petty’s."

According to TMZ, EMT's on the scene were able to find a pulse when they first arrived, so they quickly transported Petty to UCLA Santa Monica Hospital.

Sadly, however, medical staff at the hospital found that he showed no signs of "brain activity and a decision was made to pull life support."

Petty had just concluded his highly successful 40th-anniversary tour less exactly one-week prior with 3 sold-out nights in a row at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.

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This touching note to fans went up on his website after the final show wrapped:

"It’s 1:22 a.m., and the last lighting, video and sound cases are getting loaded up and pushed off the stage at the Hollywood Bowl, where Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers played three incredible sold-out, hometown shows to close out the band’s 40th Anniversary tour.

Fifty-three shows. Twenty-four states. Twelve lighting crew. Eleven truck drivers. Nine in Production. Seven sound guys. Six backline crew. Six months. Five opening acts. Three countries. Three riggers. One legendary band and over one million legendary fans. Thank you to all!"

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers first hit the radio back in 1976 with their self-titled debut album. Some of their top hits over their 41 total years together include “American Girl,” “Free Fallin’,” “Refugee” and “I Won’t Back Down.”

In addition to his success with his band mates and in his sometimes solo career, Petty was a member of the late-80's British-American "supergroup" known as collective the Traveling Wilburys (or sometimes just as the Wilburys), comprised of Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynne.

Petty's married first wife, Jane Benyo, on March 31, 1974, and they divorced in September of 1996. According to Wikipedia, "Benyo disclosed to Stevie Nicks that she met Petty at 'the age of seventeen.' Nicks misheard Benyo, leading to Nicks' song 'Edge of Seventeen.'"

They shared two adult daughters: Adria, a film director and AnnaKim Violette, an artist.

He later married second wife Dana York Epperson on June 3, 2001.

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Some argue that the Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers are truly the most successful and longest-running American rock band in history, regardless of that title having been bestowed to date on the Beach Boys.

Petty credited their success to a logistical choice not to do sound checks before concerts, as well as to Bob Dylan, who once invited Petty and his band mates to back him on a tour.

According to an interview with Rolling Stone back in June of 2017, "The experience taught him how to be in the Heartbreakers, not just lead them. 'That's when we learned how to really be a band,' says Petty."

Petty was also quoted saying this would be their last time on the road.

“This may be the last trip around the country… I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was thinking this might be the last big one.”

Earlier Update at 1:35PM Pacific Standard Time: TMZ reports that at 10:30 Monday morning a chaplain was called to Tom's hospital room. We're told the family has a do not resuscitate order on Tom. The singer is not expected to live throughout the day, but he's still clinging to life. A report that the LAPD confirmed the singer's death is inaccurate -- the L.A. County Sheriff's Dept. handled the emergency.

Unfortunately, the sad news of Tom Petty's death has been confirmed and we all mourn a true rock icon.

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Senior Editor and happily-former divorce coach/mediator Arianna Jeret is a recognized expert on love, sex, and relationships (except when it comes to her own life, of course) who has been featured in Cosmopolitan, The Huffington Post, Yahoo Style, Fox News, Bustle, Parents and more. Join her Sundays at 10:20 PM EST for answers to ALL of your questions on Facebook Live on YourTango and follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

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