Tom Petty

American rock musician (1950–2017) / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Thomas Earl Petty (October 20, 1950  October 2, 2017) was an American musician. He was the leader of the rock bands Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Mudcrutch. Petty was also a member of the late 1980s supergroup the Traveling Wilburys, and had success as a solo artist.

Quick facts: Tom Petty, Background information, Birth name...
Tom Petty
Petty performing in Denmark in June 2012
Petty performing in Denmark in June 2012
Background information
Birth nameThomas Earl Petty
Also known as
  • Charlie T. Wilbury Jr.
  • Muddy Wilbury
Born(1950-10-20)October 20, 1950
Gainesville, Florida, U.S.
DiedOctober 2, 2017(2017-10-02) (aged 66)
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
  • Musician
  • singer
  • songwriter
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • harmonica
DiscographyTom Petty discography
Years active1967–2017
Formerly of

Petty had many hit records. Hit singles with the Heartbreakers include "American Girl" (1976), "Don't Do Me Like That" (1979), "Refugee" (1980), "The Waiting" (1981), "Don't Come Around Here No More" (1985) and "Learning to Fly" (1991). Petty's solo hits include "I Won't Back Down" (1989), "Free Fallin'" (1989), and "You Don't Know How It Feels" (1994). Solo or with the Heartbreakers, he had hit albums from the 1970s through the 2010s and sold more than 80 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time.[1] Petty and the Heartbreakers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. Petty was honored as MusiCares Person of the Year in February 2017 for his contributions to music and for his philanthropy.[2] He also had a minor acting career, most notably starring in a recurring role as the voice of Lucky Kleinschmidt in the animated comedy series King of the Hill from 2004 to the show's end in 2009.[3]

Petty died of an accidental drug overdose at the age of 66, one week after the end of the Heartbreakers' 40th Anniversary Tour in 2017.[4][5]