Tom Petty
1950 - 2017
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Tom Petty, American rock star beloved by millions for his authentic heartland rock and roll, died Monday, Oct. 2, at the age of 66.

His longtime manager Tony Dimitriades issued a statement Monday evening: “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. PST surrounded by family, his bandmates, and friends.”

“It’s shocking, crushing news,” legendary songwriter Bob Dylan, a close Petty friend and colleague, told Rolling Stone magazine. “I thought the world of Tom. He was great performer, full of the light, a friend, and I’ll never forget him.”

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Petty, one of the top-selling musicians of all time, has sold more than 80 million records in his career as a solo artist, with his band the Heartbreakers, and with the supergroup the Traveling Wilburys. His success spanned decades, from 1977’s “American Girl” to 1989’s “Free Fallin’” to 1995’s “You Wreck Me” and beyond. The list of Petty’s popular and beloved songs goes on and on, thanks to a 40-year career in which he released upwards of 30 albums.

Petty’s early music, beginning with his 1976 album “Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers” and its lead singles “Breakdown” and “American Girl,” caught on more quickly in the U.K. than in the U.S. Then the band hits its stride with the 1979 album “Damn the Torpedoes,” reaching a broad American audience with hits including “Don’t Do Me Like That” – Petty’s first single to crack the Billboard Hot 100’s Top Ten – and “Refugee.”

We take a look at Tom Petty's Greatest Hits in our video gallery.

Petty and the Heartbreakers became darlings of the MTV video age with creative, sprawling videos including 1985’s “Don’t Come Around Here No More” – a surreal, “Alice in Wonderland”-themed offering – and 1994’s “Mary Jane’s Last Dance,” a creepy love story starring Kim Basinger as the corpse beloved by Petty’s character. Both videos won MTV Video Music Awards, were frequently played staples of the station’s programming, and are still cited among the best music videos of all time.

Petty would play and record with the Heartbreakers for much of his career, releasing albums with them as recently as 2014’s “Hypnotic Eye.” While the band was an indelible part of his musical persona, representing much of his massive creative output, some of his most memorable music also came during solo outings and his time with the Traveling Wilburys.

Petty first stepped away from the Heartbreakers to record 1988’s “The Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1” alongside George Harrison, Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan, and Jeff Lynne. The supergroup was formed over dinner and the album recorded casually in Dylan’s home studio, and it became a triple-platinum hit, yielding the affable singles “Handle With Care” and “End of the Line.” The Traveling Wilburys would repeat the collaboration – minus Orbison, who died shortly after the first album was released – in 1990 with “Traveling Wilburys Vol. 3.”

In between Wilburys albums, Petty took his first solo turn, releasing the album “Full Moon Fever” in 1989 and achieving a commercial peak with singles including “Free Fallin’,” “I Won’t Back Down,” and “Runnin’ Down a Dream.” Though it was officially a solo album, Petty had help in creating “Full Moon Fever” from a number of his friends, including several of the Heartbreakers as well as most of the Traveling Wilburys. He repeated his solo success with 1994’s “Wildflowers,” named by Rolling Stone as the 12th best album of the 1990s.

Petty enjoyed a minor acting career as well, peaking with his performance as the mayor of Bridge City in Kevin Costner’s 1997 film “The Postman.” He also appeared in “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show” and “The Larry Sanders Show,” as well as providing voices in animated shows including “The Simpsons” and “King of the Hill.”

Frequently nominated for Grammy Awards, Petty first won with the Traveling Wilburys, who were named “Best Rock Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group” in 1990. He would win two more Grammys, in 1996 and 2009, as well as lifetime achievement nods from the Radio Music Awards in 2003 and the Billboard Music Awards in 2005. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.

Born Oct. 20, 1950 in Gainesville, Florida, Petty built his career in Florida but later relocated to California. He was twice married, first to Jane Benyo, from 1974 to 1996. The couple had two daughters, Adria and AnnaKim Violette, both of whom survive him. In 2001, Petty married Dana York, who also survives him.

As news broke Monday that Petty had been hospitalized and then removed from life support, numerous fellow rockers spoke out in tribute.

John Mayer: “I loved Tom Petty and I covered his songs because I wanted know what it felt like to fly. ‘You belong somewhere you feel free.’”

Neko Case: “At a Tom Petty show in Austin, walking toward it, a full 3/4 of a mile to the stage, every single person living was singing every word. That's the kinda powerful love you don't see every day, but the kind we all long for when we think about our society and togetherness.”

Nikki Sixx: “Tom Petty. One of the greatest songwriters of our generation. Thank you for ALL the music. Prayers to your family & band members.”
Published in Coastal Courier on Oct. 2, 2017.
Memories & Condolences
Not sure what to say?
3682 entries
May 9, 2020
I will never get over Tom being gone. Hes the BEST!!! Always & Forever!!!
Lisa
March 16, 2020
Two and a half years and I am still sad!
Listen to your music all the time!
Susan Stanton
February 18, 2020
I always loved your music and I listen to your music all the time as you were the best of the best Tom Petty you were truly a amazing gifted person you will be missed and loved by many may you rest in peace with our Lord my friend
Debbie Real
February 14, 2020
Your music plays on in my heart and soul! Im really lost for words , but, I do know that your music is AMAZING!!! You are rock n roll !
Cellynn Onryan
Friend
January 21, 2020
Tom Petty, You are sadly missed, listening to your great music right now!!!! D Daily
Diana Daily
December 1, 2019
You were one of the best and I will never forget your music. You were a genius and not many come close to all that you accomplished in this world and I thank you for that.
A J
October 22, 2019
The whole world loves your music still. Sadly missed by your fans and never forgotten. Thank you, for every time life was hard, I sang your song...."hey baby, there aint no easy way out, you can stand me up against the gates of Hell but I won't back down", and it made me feel strong again. May you stand forever in the light of the Lord...oh what songs you would write if you could tell us what you see now.
October 2, 2019
Two years later and you're missed more now than ever before. I keep wishing it wasn't true, but the pain is too real! What else is there to say.
Lisa Jones
Friend
October 2, 2019
Hard to believe it's been 2 years and the pain is still so now. He lives on through his music. He left the world a better place where ever he could. Tom, I hope your jammin with your buddies up there. One of these days, I'll join the heavenly audience-you and I will meet again.
Karen Fore
October 2, 2019
Sadly missed but never forgotten breaks my heart every time his music is played great artist wonderful human being there will never be another Tom Petty my deepest sympathies to his family
Vicki Buz
Friend
September 30, 2019
I have not forgotten our loss on that day. Keith Urban did a tribute to you that New Years Eve in Nashville,and others gone too soon. This world is still missing you TP and I hope you are resting in paradise. Free Falling
Diane Samp
September 14, 2019
My favorite rock star ...I listen to his music each and every day. He lives on in his wonderful music...May he Rest In Peace.
Debbie Wheeler Martin
September 1, 2019
May God bless each and every one in Tom Pettys family my heart goes out to u all of u. He is still one of my favorite singers he was great may God rest your soul Tom.
Cathy Pelham
August 2, 2019
My courtship and eventually my 36 yr marriage began at a TP concert in 1979. May you Rock in Peace, youre in a Higher Place now Tom ❤
Claudia O'Neill
Friend
July 25, 2019
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
Megan Diel
July 21, 2019
You made my hour long bus ride to and from school bearable.
Patricia Merill
June 11, 2019
We truly lost a legend of rock. An true artist of music. My heart ❤ goes out to friends and family. My condolences to all. Forever will his music live on .
Beverly Spicer
Friend
May 26, 2019
Thank u for your music your a legend that will never be forgotton RIP Tom
Lynn J
May 8, 2019
What a great musician, love his stuff!
Sherrilynn Merre
April 12, 2019
God bless you and keep you in his care. Even though his death is not fresh , your grief is. We were fortunate to be his first stop in OKC on his last tour. Seats on the eighth row, with our bad backs due to age , we stood up and sang and danced the whole time. He had a warmth, charm and wit that matched his musical ability. His CDs were the soundtrack to our many car trips. I have the tee shirt with the tour on back and extras for being in VIP section. It has taken us awhile to listen to his music because of our own feeling of personal loss. Im sure you know how much he was loved by the world.
Nanci Jones
Friend
April 5, 2019
So Many Memories of you & your music. I was never fortunate enough to ever see you perform, but I was a true fan from the beginning. RIP
Judy Stearns
March 5, 2019
Losing Tom Petty was the true Heartbreaker.
Benson Taylor
February 17, 2019
Well miss you Tom,but know you live on through your children an music.
Denzil Brewer
Friend
January 24, 2019
You rocked. I still enjoy your music . R.I.P Tom Petty. You will be missed.
Cecilia Barasa
Friend
December 17, 2018
ALLAN CITRON
Friend
November 1, 2018
Tom Petty was not only a brilliant performer, but he was also a wonderful human being.
Judy
Acquaintance
October 24, 2018
To family and friends of Mr Petty. May the of all comfort grant you the strength you need to endure. You have my deepest sympathy for your loss. 1Corin. 15:26
L Sherman-Kinkel
October 22, 2018
RIP Tom Petty. Never back down
Cappy in NJ
October 20, 2018
francine
October 20, 2018
Happy Birthday, Tom Petty. You will never be forgotton.
Francine
October 20, 2018
Happy Birthday! Number #1
Francine
October 20, 2018
Today is a special day! Happy Birthday Tom Petty. You will never be forgotten.
luv Francine
October 17, 2018
RIP Tom. Your music enriched my life and you never backed down. Say hello to Spike/Nelson Wilbury and Lefty Wilbury for me.
James Heine
October 17, 2018
Peace Brother my daughter Jenny will love having you with her and hearing you singing with the angels.....Hope to join you soon Jen and Tom in Heaven.... Dad
Joe DAndrea
October 13, 2018
Wishing Peace and Love to the world. Remember to show and teach others kindness.
And remember a beautiful day can happen...just remembering Tom's smile. A truly missed southern gentleman.
Dee Girdner
October 5, 2018
You belong among the wildflowers.....


October 4, 2018
A year later.
I will never get over it!!!
Lisa Brown
October 3, 2018
I am still in shock, after one year later. I miss you and will never forget you. your music got me through some tough times in my life. thank you for that. god Bless.
christine sell
October 2, 2018
It's been one year since we got the horrible news that Tom died and my world of music came crashing down. Listening to Tom on his XM station opened my world to an even broader range of music that I listen to every single day. Thank you Tom from one of your biggest super fans. There's not a day that goes by that I don't think of you and all your contributions
Susan Stanton
October 2, 2018
Godspeed Tom. and thank you for sharing a part of your life with us. Now performing eternally in the Ultimate Venue.
Harry Simpson
October 2, 2018
I haven't forgotten that day, how I felt the loss, & still do. I grew up with his music & adored his long blonde hair personally thinking he was a kind of sultry sexy. I hope his family & friends have found some healing but I know there is definitely no time limit on grief. RIP TP your music lives on in our hearts & always will. It must be one great party up in that sky!!!
Diane Samp
October 2, 2018
"I don't believe the good times are over. I don't believe the thrill is all gone. "
Tim McCormack
October 2, 2018
Its been 1 year today and it still hurts.1950-2017 Tom your "dash" was amazing!
lisa jones
October 1, 2018
Still sad. Think of him every day. Listen to his music every day. Bless his family, bandmates and friends. Glad he found love, happiness, redemption and forgiveness. Miss him.
Tammy
October 1, 2018
Hard to believe it's been a year since the music ended. God bless !
Rich Mccarthy
October 1, 2018
You are a true talent that is greatly missed
Carmen Kissner
August 31, 2018
tom petty, music misses you, rip tom, gary, Newcastle, england
gary timms
August 21, 2018
RIP
Tom Petty
Francine
August 21, 2018
RIP
Tom Petty
Francine
August 17, 2018
It still hurts that you are no longer here on earth with us. You are amazing songwriter and musician and we all miss you dearly. What a fabulous band you had as well. I hope you're rocking the heavens. My heart goes out to all your family and friends and to all those who loved you. I was fortunate enough to see you in concert and what a fabulous show it was.
PJ Bennett
July 30, 2018
I still cant believe it my heart is broken.Thank you for everything,you will always be missed!
lisa Jones
July 18, 2018
Hey, Tom, it still hurts. You are the best!
C Lanouette
July 1, 2018
Love & miss you Tom! Thanks for years of great music! You expressed, for so many of us, the things we thought and felt, and that remains with us always.
Susan Moore
June 8, 2018
Miss you Tom Petty!
Susan Stanton
June 3, 2018
I miss you. I love you and your kind spirt, and your music! Gone to soon.
Patsy Dunn
May 6, 2018
One year ago tonight I was at Amalie Arena watching Tom and his Heartbreakers.... still blown away by what happened. Thanks for everything all these decades. Love Tom Petty Radio.... been listening since day 1. It's like a connection that still there!
Suaan Stanton
May 3, 2018
Miss you and your music. I brought my daughter to her first concert to see you in Michigan, my daughter wanted me to marry you. Your music will live on in this family forever! R.I.P. We love you, JoAnn and family.
JoAnn Ciavattone
April 20, 2018
Your music will live forever - your fans like me will play it to our dying day - and our children will do the same and so on like we taught them to do!! Hope you're learning to fly!! We love you from Loganville, Georgia
Jan Hopkins
April 17, 2018
SO QUICK AND SO VERY, VERY SAD.
MY HEART ACHES FOR HIS FAMILY AND ALL CLOSE TO HIM. SUCH A GREAT LOSS OF A GREAT MAN. I'M SO DEEPLY SORRY. MAY GOD COMFORT ALL OF YOU WITH THE WARMTH OF HIS LOVE.
TOM, YOUR MUSIC LIVES ON EVERY DAY. I LOVE YOUR MUSIC AND I LOVE YOU. MAY YOU REST IN PEACE AND ENJOY THE COMPANY OF LOVED ONES WHO HAVE MET YOU THERE.
LOVE, KAREN.
KAREN M.
April 16, 2018
Tom Petty made beautiful music. He was my first concert. I remember being the youngest one there. I've put southern accents on loop for the past 8 hours. We miss you.
April 3, 2018
"Rest in Peace." Tom was very special. His lyrics, guitar playing and his voice I've always loved. I will listen to his music until I leave this world.

Kate Riley-Tabernacle, NJ & Philadelphia, PA
Kate Riley
March 30, 2018
The best a we love you.
kathy tower
March 30, 2018
i miss you .
kathy tower
March 19, 2018
May all family's and friends during this time of grief fines peace and strength from 2 Thessalonians 2:16, 17. My sincere condolences.
March 14, 2018
Man oh man, how you will be missed. Love ya, man. See you on the other side.
De Plott
March 12, 2018
May God bless and keep your family close. May God bless you and keep your soul forever in His care. I will always love you, and all the beautiful music you gave us. Keep runnin' down a dream with Del. I had 40 yrs. of your songs, and was blessed to see you play several times in concert. You will live on in my heart, always! RIP
Chrissy Johnson
March 12, 2018
Oh Tom, you will be missed yet never forgotten ! Heaven has a great Rock & Roll bands my condolences to your family. Thank you for the music. Victoria
Victoria Winzler
March 11, 2018
SUCH A GREAT LOSS REST IN PEACE.....
Linda Johnson
March 8, 2018
My dear Tom.. One of my favorite rockers. You learned to fly now you got wings. Comming down won't be your thing. My favorite song .
Julia Carson
March 6, 2018
From New Zealand,so sorry to read of Toms passing,one awesome man.
Denise Bailey
March 3, 2018
May Jehovah give you comfort and peace at this very sad time.
Tom Petty made the best music, and I am sad about his death.
A Fan
March 1, 2018
My sincere condolences to the family and friends
February 27, 2018
Tom you brought so much happiness to people around the world through your music.I want to personally Thank you and pay you tribute , your the greatest Shannon Clement
Shannon Clement
February 26, 2018
To all Tom's family and friends, my deepest condolences to everyone. I've been an avid fan for many years. His music got me through many tough times and also gave me road trip music to get me where I was going safe and with a smile. Rock on in heaven man. You are sorely missed by me and so many. God Bless. Moongal
Mary Brennan
February 22, 2018
My thoughts are with Tom Petty's family. May God help you to cope each day, for each day will be difficult. ~ Psalm 62: 8
February 21, 2018
Tom Petty, YOUR music is what got me through the horrific disco craze of the late 70's... You will be greatly missed. Truly one of the world's greatest songwriters
Liz Barker
February 16, 2018
Tom

You will always be loved and so appreciated by all your fans and followers. You are not only an amazing musician you are an amazing human being
Bill Langford
February 16, 2018
Dana and family,

I know this is several months late. I want to send my deepest and sincere condolences of your loss of a husband, father, friend, leader and bandmate. I've been listening to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers since 1978. I truly love his music and his appreciation of all his fans. I continue to play his music all the time. He was a big influence of not only the music I listen to as well as my life. I will keep you, your stepdaughters, son, family and Tom's bandmates in my thoughts and prayers. Just know I and many of his fans and followers will always think about Tom and we love him.
Bill Langford
February 6, 2018
Dude you rocked it out I loved when you sang with Stevie Nick's you will be so missed and loved
TammyandKeith Herald
February 5, 2018
tom you were a star on earth your now a star in the heavens shine on forever
Greg Andrews
February 4, 2018
Joni Ensley
February 4, 2018
I am extremely sad about Tom Petty's passing. I still mourn to this day. I listen to his music, and automatically feel better about life. I am grateful for the music and joy he brought to my life. My two sons 10 and 4 also love his music. May you rest in beautiful peace.
Joni Ensley
February 2, 2018
I am so sorry for the loss of your loved one. It's heartbreaking when we lose someone in death. Please find peace and comfort in knowing that God understands your grief and that He truly cares for you. 1Cor. 1:3,4
February 1, 2018
You are amongst the top of respected players in Rock & Roll history. Thank you for your creativity and time. Will never forget all of you. God bless you and your family
Randy Robinson
January 31, 2018
I am so sorry for the loss of your loved one. It's heartbreaking when we lose someone in death. Please find peace and comfort in knowing that God understands your grief and that He truly cares for you.
~1 Peter 5:6, 7
M. Gist
January 31, 2018
You will be missed so much. Your music will live on with so much meaning. I went to a lot of your concerts. My deepest sympathy to your family.
Joyce Kruger
January 29, 2018
Rest in peace , thanks for the songs and good times at your gigs. cheers
angus cooney
January 26, 2018
My sincere condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Petty. His premature death has affected me way beyond what I would ever have thought. Mr. Petty was to me the epitome of the unpretentious rock and roll legend. I will forever cherish his music and his words.
Richard LaRocque
January 25, 2018
To Tom's family and friends, this is perhaps the most meaningful thing I can say.....I am 58 years young and worked at "Musicland" IN A MALL when Tom's first album came out in the 70's. Needless to say this gal was hooked from day ONE. I can't even put a firm number on the many concerts I've attended. I'd like to add that over the years, I've heard many people say "Marty, I think of you every time I hear a Tom Petty song." Hearing that WAS, and still IS, MUSIC to my ears. Every time I hear that, it gives me such a great feeling inside. It gives me a sense of pride and a feeling of connection to one of the best artists to walk this planet during our time on Earth. Thomas Earl Petty helped a lot of folks feel better about themselves through his music, and what a GIFT that must have been for HIM. I am sure it made his "Heart" smile! Take care of one another and just know, it will get easier. Marty Hermes
Marty Hermes
January 23, 2018
So sorry for yourloss.May prayer comfort you and your family 1st Thessalonians chap 5;17
January 22, 2018
I found a ticket stub from1972 in an old coat a couple of years ago. The price was $5.00. That was the first of many concerts of Tom Pettys that pretty much defined my teens and twenties (and, as it turns out, many years after). For the last 10 years I was prescribed hydrocodone and oxycontin, klonopin, and and a cocktail of drugs for a back injury. It became obvious to me late last year that I had to quit. Tom became my lifeline. I listened to "I won't back down" , "Free Falling" et al until my cravings were changed to strength. I will be 60 this year. I wouldn't be if it hadn't been for Tom Petty. Thank you Tom, you have saved a life.
Ellen Noland
January 21, 2018
Still can't believe your not here with us. I listen to Tom Petty radio every day and I want to go back to before October 2nd when all was good. Love and Miss you every day Tom Petty
Susan Stanton
January 21, 2018
Tom's song words relate to the average person. I am so lucky to have seen the band in June. Thank you for the fantastic music that we all love and will continue to enjoy forever.
Linda Carter
January 21, 2018
He is very much missed.his music his legacy.he found his dream and it came to all of us.Rest in Peace and Rock in Peace.
Drusilla Sears
Friend
January 20, 2018
I grew up to Tom pettys music .my favorite was " stop draggin my heart around" He sang with stevie nicks ,whose been my all time favorite.
Stephanie Goodrich
January 19, 2018
Tom Petty's music was so original. He never let anyone influence his style. Even though many tried, but his gift was given from God. There are only a few that had a gift like Him. The Beatles had the same song writing gifting. What God gives musically can never be taken away. Tom Petty was given the gift of song and lyric writing. He was a True poet song writer. In my era he was my Bob Dylsn!!!
Lauren Gallagher
January 19, 2018
Just listened to your Greatest Hits CD again. The memories those songs bring back. Driving to Texas (from NH) in my 1984 red Z28 flying down the highway listening to Don't Do Me Like That and I Need To Know blasting. Great driving music. Rock On and RIP. You are greatly missed.
Mary Faulkner
January 18, 2018
Keep rockin in heaven! Love and Miss You❤ RIP
Linda Diederich-Wagner
January 16, 2018
WE'LL MISS HIM LIKE WE MISS PRINCE + DAVID BOWIE + ARE PROUD TO LOVE THE MUSIC OF THIS GENIUS + HIS BAND!I WAS HIS FAN SINCE FIRST LP IN 1976 + ESPECIALLY HIS ALBUM INTO THE GREAT WHITE OPEN BROUGHT ME RELIEF, COMFORT. JOY + ENERGY IN THE EARLY 90s + LATER. UNFORTUNATELY NEVER WATCHED HIM LIVE ONSTAGE BUT FULLY ENJOYED ALL HIS ROCKPALAST (ETC.) LIVE SHOWS ON GERMAN TV + ON MTV + YOUTUBE.
FAREWELL MY GOOD COMPANION OF LIFE !

Hans, Germany
Hans
January 15, 2018
he was very good singer all the time and miss you very well
james harmison
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