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IRVINE, CA – AUGUST 14: Tom Petty and his band the Heartbreakers perform at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre on August 14, 2005 in Irvine, California. (Photo by Karl Walter/Getty Images)

Evan Brown

LOS ANGELES – On October 2, at 11:40 PM, rock icon Tom Petty died of cardiac arrest at the age of 66 in an LA hospital.

Tony Dimitriades, long time manager of the band that Petty spearheaded, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, confirmed his death on behalf of the Petty Family.

“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 11:40pm PM, surrounded by family, his bandmates and friends.”

Petty was an american singer, songwriter, and guitarist, known for his musical group Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, his solo career, and also his involvement in the 1980s supergroup, The Traveling Wilburys.

Known for his trademark nasal vocals, guitar driven melodies and the compelling Americana stories he told through his music, Tom Petty has been writing hits for over four decades.

Jack Janson, freshman, fondly remembered Petty.

“I remember listening to him when I was really young, His songs were classy and had meaning and his music meant a lot to me. He will be missed.”

Petty was born in Gainesville, Florida, in 1950. When He was 11, Tom Petty met Elvis, which sparked his interest in music.

In 1976, Tom Petty formed the Heartbreakers, for which he provided the lead vocals, guitar work, and songwriting. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers have released 13 studio albums, 5 of which went gold and 5 of which went platinum.

On top of his illustrious career with the Heartbreakers, Petty released multiple solo albums and in 1988 Petty helped co-found the rock supergroup The Traveling Wilburys with Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, and Roy Orbison.

Petty’s classic rock hits, such as “Free Fallin,” “American Girl,” “Don’t Come Around Here No More,” “Refugee,” and “Last Dance With Mary Jane” are staples of the American Rock genre. His songs touched the hearts of millions and his presence will be greatly missed.