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Rock Legend Tom Petty Dies at the Age of 66

Petty was a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer who sold about 80 million records

LOS ANGELES-Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Tom Petty died Monday at Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center after he was found unconscious and in cardiac arrest at his home in Malibu. A family spokeswoman, publicist Carla Sacks, confirmed his death to the LA Times. He was 66.

Petty performed last May at Klipsch Music Center in Noblesville as part of his 40th anniversary tour with The Heartbreakers.

Petty's manager, Tony Dimitriades, issued this statement: 

"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. He suffered cardiac arrest at his home in Malibu in the early hours of this morning and was taken to UCLA Medical Center but could not be revived. He died peacefully at 8:40 p.m. PT surrounded by family, his bandmates and friends." 

Petty and his longtime band, the Heartbreakers, had recently completed a 40th anniversary tour. It was one he said would likely be their last. 

"I'm thinking it may be the last trip around the country," Petty told Rolling Stone last year. "We're all on the backside of our 60s. I have a granddaughter now I'd like to see as much as I can. I don't want to spend my life on the road. This tour will take me away for four months. With a little kid, that's a lot of time." 

Petty broke through in the 1970s and went on to sell 80 million records. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which inducted Petty and the Heartbreakers in 2002, praised them as "durable, resourceful, hard-working, likeable and unpretentious."

Music legend Eric Clapton took the time to weigh in on the loss of Petty in a statement that said: "I'm shocked and saddened by the news of Tom's passing, he's such a huge part of our musical history, there'll never be another like him." 

Petty's albums included "Damn the Torpedoes," ''Hard Promises" and "Full Moon Fever," although his first No. 1 did not come until 2014 and "Hypnotic Eye." As a songwriter, he focused often on daily struggles and the will to overcome them, most memorably on "Refugee," ''Even the Losers" and "I Won't Back Down."

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