Tom Petty and the legacy left behind

Tom Petty, the great American songwriter and Rock and Roller, passed away Monday after being rushed to a Las Angeles hospital when found unconscious. He was 66.

False statements that Petty passed earlier on Monday spread throughout the media. CBS News was forced to delete and clarify a report that Petty had died, stating the Los Angeles Police Department had confirmed the death.

LAPD later released a statement that the report was inaccurate: “The LAPD has no information about the passing of singer Tom Petty. Initial information was inadvertently provided to some media sources. However, the LAPD has no investigative role in this matter. We apologize for any inconvenience in this reporting.”

As the day went on, sources stated that Petty later passed away.

Tony Dimitriades, manager of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, said in a statement later Monday, "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 8:40pm PST surrounded by family, his bandmates and friends."

Petty and the Heartbreakers first came into fame in 1970 and had a concert just last week at the Hollywood Bowl. The legacy of Petty and his band carried on throughout generations.

In 2002 the band hit a new stride and landed a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

According to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, "Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers are the quintessential American individualists. 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."

Some of the band's biggest hits include "Free Fallin'," "American Girl" and "I Won't Back Down," which will continue to play throughout the world.

Petty also worked with other legendary rockers, like Stevie Nicks, Bob Dylan, George Harrison and Johnny Cash.

Petty grew up with a passion for music in Gainesville, Florida. He turned to music for refuge from his father who was both physically and mentally abusive.

Petty dropped out of High school at age 17 to play bass for his band, Mudcrutch. He eventually became their singer and songwriter and moved to Los Angeles for a larger audience.

Petty was offered a solo contract after Mudcrutch was unsuccessful but eventually the band reconnected to form Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers.

The rest was history.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers took America by storm and Petty will always be remembered as a music legend.

Photo Credit: Google, Labeled for reuse

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