A statement on behalf of Tom Petty’s family has confirmed the news that the US musician had died.
There have been conflicting reports throughout the night, with TMZ and CBS initially saying that Petty had died. CBS later changed their report in response to an Los Angeles Police Department denial that Petty had passed away.
Now, Tony Dimitriades, longtime manager of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, has issued a statement on behalf of the family confirming the news.
The statement reads: “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 8:40pm PST surrounded by family, his bandmates and friends.”
Fans have begun to leave floral tributes to Petty at his star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame, while artists from across the music world have paid tribute to him.
Petty’s Traveling Wilburys bandmate Bob Dylan tells Rolling Stone: “It’s shocking, crushing news. I thought the world of Tom. He was a great performer, full of the light, a friend, and I’ll never forget him.”
Steven Van Zandt says: “Our deepest love and condolences to his family and band. A brother and true believer.”
Kiss star Gene Simmons tweets: “Another great man gone too soon. Tom Petty, you were an exceptional talent. Your legacy lives on.”
Petty, who was inducted to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame with his band The Heartbreakers in 2002, was responsible for hits including Refugee, Won’t Back Down, American Girl and Free Fallin’.
He went on to join folk rock supergroup The Traveling Wilburys with Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne and Roy Orbison in 1988. Their debut album, Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1, went 3x Platinum in the US, and won a Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal in 1990.
Petty’s last album, Hypnotic Eye, was released in 2014, and he had been performing regularly since, including an evening at the British Summer Time festival in Hyde Park in July this year.