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Tom Petty dead: Singer passes away aged 66

Monday 2 October 2017 23:16 BST Click to followThe Independent Culture Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers had played a sold-out show at BST Hyde Park in London earlier this year Andre Csillang/Rex Features

Confusion surrounds news of legendary singer Tom Petty after an early report that he has died.

Conflicting reports emerged after he experienced a heart attack at the age of 66.

The singer-songwriter was reportedly rushed to the UCLA Santa Monica hospital on Monday after being found unconscious in his Malibu home.

According to an initial LAPD source via CBS News and Variety , he was taken off life support soon after.

Yet later tweets from CBS and the LAPD claim that the department has “no information about the passing of singer Tom Petty” and any information has been “inadvertently provided”, with both apologisng.

This article will be updated as soon as we have further information.

Petty was born in Gainesville, FL, on 20 October, 1950, into a rough childhood. He lived in poverty with an abusive, alcoholic father, when an encounter with Elvis Presley in the Fifties saw him gain an interest in rock music. Aged 17, he dropped out of school to play in a band – Mudcrutch.

He would later rise to fame with his band Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in the 1970s, releasing several hits including “Free Fallin’”, “Listen to Her Heart” and “American Girl”. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. Tom Petty, BST Hyde Park, gig review: A rock ‘n’ roll gold mine

The band’s self-titled album dropped in 1976, eventually going Gold and with two classic rock anthems: “Breakdown” and “American Girl”.

It was the band’s third album, 1979’s Damn the Torpedoes! which saw the band enjoy their breakthrough to mainstream success. The album peaked at No.2 and went triple Platinum, producing two top 20 hits with “Refugee” and “Don’t Do Me Like That”.

He joined George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynne in the “supergroup-to-end-all-supergroups” – the Traveling Wilburys. Tom Petty: A Life in Pictures Tom Petty: A Life in Pictures 1/8

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers performs on the main stage on day 2 of The Isle of Wight Festival at Seaclose Park on June 22, 2012 in Newport, Isle of Wight Getty

Petty performing at the 2003 Radio Music Awards 3/8

Petty with his fellow "Heartbreakers" at the premiere of a documentary film about them Reuters 4/8

Tom Petty speaking at a ceremony where Jeff Lynne receives a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Reuters 5/8

Tom Petty receiving his own star on the Walk of Fame alongside the Heartbreakers in 1999 Getty Images

Petty performing in London in 1992 Andre Csillang/Rex Features 7/8

Petty (L) performing with Bob Dylan at Madison Square Gardens in New York in July 1986 Rex Features

Petty performing at the start of his career in 1977 Ian Dickson/Rex Features

Petty would continue to collaborate with Lynne for his solo debut, 1989’s Full Moon Fever, which went five-times Platinum and hit No. 3 on the Billboard 200. It also produced produced arguably his best-known song: “Free Fallin’”.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers had continued to perform for the past four decades, and played a sold-out show at BST Hyde Park in London this year, where Petty performed wth Stevie Nicks for their hit ‘81 duet “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around”.

Petty’s final show was last week, performing three sold-out shows at the Hollywood Bowl to conclude their 40th anniversary tour, CBS News reports.

​He told Rolling Stone that he thought this would be the group’s last tour together. Read more