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Tom Petty, iconic rock star, has died at age 66 after suffering cardiac arrest, manager says

  • Tom Petty has died at age 66
  • The singer was rushed to the hospital on Sunday night after being found unconscious and in cardiac arrest in his home in Malibu, California
  • He was later taken off life support after it was determined that he had no brain activity

Musician Tom Petty, frontman of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, died on Monday at age 66, his manager said in a statement.

"On behalf of the Tom Petty family, we are devastated to announce the untimely death of of our father, husband, brother, leader and friend Tom Petty," Tony Dimitriades, longtime band manager, said in a statement on behalf of the family.

The singer was rushed to the hospital after being found unconscious and in cardiac arrest in his home in Malibu, California, Dimitriades said.

Petty could not be revived and died peacefully surrounded by family, his bandmates and friends, Dimitriades said.

Petty was reportedly not breathing when paramedics arrived and was put on life support at the UCLA Santa Monica Hospital.

Petty and his band mates embarked on their 40th anniversary tour this year, last playing in Los Angeles in September. The band was slated to perform twice more in November in New York.

Petty was known for numerous hit songs, including "I Won't Back Down" in 1989, "Free Fallin'" in 1989, and "American Girl" in 1976.

Tom Petty from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers posed in New York in 1976.
Richard E. Aaron | Redferns | Getty Images
Tom Petty from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers posed in New York in 1976.

The band the Heartbreakers was formed in 1976, based in Gainesville, Florida.

The band's second album, "You're Gonna Get It," became its first gold album, meaning it sold at least 500,000 units. Its third album, "Damn the Torpedoes," which included the group's first Top 10 single "Don't Do Me Like That," went platinum, meaning it sold at least a million units.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.

The museum's website called the band "quintessential American individualists," saying it married "British Invasion pop with harder Southern rhythms."

"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," the museum's website said.