Renowned musician passes away, leaves behind legacy


Warner Bros Records

Iconic musician Tom Petty died from cardiac arrest October 2.

On October 2, musician Tom Petty died from cardiac arrest. Petty, at 66 years of age, had sold more than 80 million records worldwide. He was the lead singer of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and recorded some of his most famous singles with the band, such as “Free Fallin,” “Learning to Fly,” and “You Wreck Me.”

 According to Biography, 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 8:40 p.m. PST surrounded by his family, bandmates, and friends.”

 Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers was created in the late seventies, at a time when punk rock was sweeping the nation. According to AllMusic, the band had a “distinctively American hybrid sound that recalled the past without being indebted to it.” The band was definitely an icon of seventies music, but what’s distinguishing about Petty is that he was able to make a career as both a solo artist and leading band member. The fact that he was able to make a name for himself during the golden age of rock music is a feat in itself.   

 While many Sanderson students have never heard of Tom Petty, Sanderson sophomore Henry Puckett said, “My dad would play Tom Petty in the car a lot when I was a kid…My favorite song by him is ‘Zero From Outer Space’”

 Considering the last album Petty released was 2006’s “Highway Companion,” it’s understandable that this generation hasn’t heard a lot of his music. However, Billboard reported that Petty’s song sales spiked 6,781% following his death. Tom Petty was definitely a musical icon and will be missed by many.