Tom Petty, the American rocker who fronted one of the country’s longest-running, most successful bands, is fighting for his life, according to reports.
TMZ first reported the news Monday that he was found unconscious in full cardiac arrest at his Malibu home Sunday. CBS News later reported his death, which could not be independently confirmed. A representative for Petty did not immediately return The Washington Post’s inquiry.
A CBS Twitter account attributed the report of Petty’s death to the Los Angeles Police Department; the tweet has since been deleted.
“The LAPD has no information about the passing of singer Tom Petty. Initial information was inadvertantly [sic] provided to some media sources,” the police department posted on Twitter. “However, the LAPD has no investigative role in this matter. We apologize for any inconvenience in this reporting.”
TMZ followed up with a post that Petty was “still clinging to life. A report that the LAPD confirmed the singer’s death is inaccurate.”
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers had just concluded their 40th anniversary tour, which Petty had said would be the band’s last big, country-spanning tour. The group played shows at Los Angeles’ Hollywood Bowl on Sept. 21, 22 and 25, and earlier on Monday, Petty’s official website posted a recap of the group’s final shows.
“It’s 1:22 a.m., and the last lighting, video and sound cases are getting loaded up and pushed off the stage at the Hollywood Bowl, where Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers played three incredible sold-out, hometown shows to close out the band’s 40th Anniversary tour,” reads the blog post. “Fifty-three shows. Twenty-four states. Twelve lighting crew. Eleven truck drivers. Nine in Production. Seven sound guys. Six backline crew. Six months. Five opening acts. Three countries. Three riggers. One legendary band and over one million legendary fans. Thank you to all!”
In August, a series of shows was postponed as Petty recovered from laryngitis.
On Monday, a few hours before TMZ ran with the news, this throwback photo had been posted to Petty’s official Twitter account.
Originally from Florida, Petty rose to fame as the frontman of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, whose 1976 self-titled debut featured his unique nasal voice and guitar work. His career, both with the band and as a solo act, spanned decades and included hits such as “Rockin’ Around (With You),” “Breakdown,” “Free Fallin’” and “Last Dance with Mary Jane.”
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