By Scott T. Sterling
Classic rock legend Tom Petty has been removed from life support, according to TMZ. Previous reports of his death can no longer be confirmed.
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Petty had been found unconscious at his Malibu home, where EMTs were able to find a pulse before rushing him to the UCLA Santa Monica Hospital.
Born in Gainesville, FL, Petty made an impact from the release of his band’s 1976 debut album, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, which spawned two hits, “Breakdown” and “American Girl,” timeless classics that still enjoy radio spins to this day.
Charting with a pair of singles (“Listen to Her Heart,” “I Need to Know”) from the band’s second album, You’re Gonna Get It!, Petty and the Heartbreakers struck gold with the 1979 follow-up, Damn the Torpedoes. The album peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Top 200, powered by a trio of huge singles: “Don’t Do Me Like That,” Refugee” and “Here Comes My Girl.”
Established as one of America’s premier rock acts of the ’80s, Petty and the Heartbreakers would release a series of hit albums throughout the decade, with the singer striking out on his own with 1989 solo debut, Full Moon Fever and following with Wildflowers (1994) and Highway Companion (2006).
Petty also teamed up with Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan, George Harrison and ELO’s Jeff Lynne to form the Traveling Wilburys and release the first album from the super-group, Traveling Wilburys Vol 1 (1988). The band would release a second album, cheekily entitled Traveling Wilburys Vol. 3, in 1990.
Petty’s success would continue into the new century, with the singer inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002 and performing at the Super Bowl in 2008.
He played his last concert last Monday (9/25) at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, wrapping up the Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers 40th Anniversary Tour.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article cited incorrect information distributed by the LAPD to CBS confirming Tom Petty’s death. Petty remains hospitalized at this time.