Petty was rushed to the UCLA Medical Center at Santa Monica while in “full cardiac arrest” on Sunday night, and reportedly taken off life support the next day when he was found to have “no brain activity,” according to TMZ.
Several news outlets, including HuffPost, had erroneously announced the singer’s death earlier in the day after the LAPD “inadvertently provided [info] to some media sources.” Those stories were retracted and the police apologized for the error. Then, late Monday, the band’s manager released a statement confirming the death of the music icon:
Petty’s music career kicked off in 1976 with his band’s self-titled first album, which included the Top 40 hit “Breakdown.” Over the following decades, the band turned out over a dozen studio albums and a steady string of hits that included “Don’t Do Me Like That,” “Refugee,” “Free Fallin’” and “American Girl.” Petty kept busy by also recording with the rock group Mudcrutch and the Traveling Wilburys, a folk-rock supergroup featuring Bob Dylan, George Harrison and others.
The Heartbreakers have continued to perform with few changes to the band’s original lineup, marking the 40th anniversary of their debut record last year. Their anniversary tour kicked off in April, but in an interview with Rolling Stone, Petty called it the group’s “last big one.”
“We’re all on the backside of our sixties,” he said. “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.”
This is a developing story. More to come…