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Tom Petty, Rock Icon And Hitmaker, Dead At 66

The legendary Heartbreakers singer and songwriter had reportedly been on life support after going into cardiac arrest

Tom Petty, the rock and roll icon whose mammoth success with his band The Heartbreakers and as a solo performer beginning in the 1970s includes 80 millions records sold worldwide, has died, his manager announced early Tuesday morning (October 3). He was 66.

"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," a note written by longtime manager Tony Dimitriades and posted to Twitter read. "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, his bandmates, and friends."

Petty had reportedly been on life support on Monday.

The legendary performer dropped out of high school at 17 and dove into music, arriving at a higher level of fame at age 26 with his debut self-titled album with The Heartbreakers in 1976. The band's early singles "Breakdown" and "American Girl" became staples of rock radio and upon their release, ignited a sizzling string of hits that defined their decades-spanning career. Later, "The Waiting" and "You Got Lucky" hit No. 1 on the U.S. Rock charts in 1981 and 1982, respectively.

Following a stint in the Traveling Wilburys supergroup (with Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Roy Orbison, and Jeff Lynne), Petty began a solo career with 1989's massively successful, Full Moon Fever, which spawned the top hit singles "I Won't Back Down," "Runnin' Down a Dream," and "Free Fallin'." Petty's visibility continued to soar in the '90s with the release of his second solo album, Wildflowers, in 1994 and the single "You Don't Know How It Feels."

Petty was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. Perhaps a testament to his hitmaking abilities, his best-selling album is his 1993 compilation, Greatest Hits. His final album with The Heartbreakers, Hypnotic Eye, came out in 2014.

In 2015, Petty was awarded 12.5 percent of the songwriting credit on Sam Smith's "Stay With Me" after a settlement in light of allegations Smith had borrowed Petty's melody for his chorus.

Petty performed his final concert on Monday, September 25 at the Hollywood Bowl, the final of three sold-out shows on the The Heartbreakers' 40th anniversary tour. As CBS News notes, the tour encompassed 53 shows across 24 states.

Friends, fans, and fellow musicians took to Twitter to honor and remember Petty.