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Tom Petty

  • Birthplace: Gainesville, Florida
  • Birthday: October 20
Date of passing: 
October 02, 2017

Tom Petty was a musician, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and record producer. He was best known as the frontman of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, but was also a member and co-founder of the late-1980s supergroup the Traveling Wilburys (which included George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynne) and his early band Mudcrutch.

Petty’s hits included “Refugee,” “Don’t Come Around Here No More,” “Free Fallin’,” “Into the Great Wide Open,” "The Waiting," "You Got Lucky," "I Won't Back Down," "Learning to Fly" and "Mary Jane's Last Dance.”

His music was often featured on the soundtracks for films and television shows, including episodes of WKRP in Cincinnati, Knight Rider, Miami Vice, It’s Garry Shandling’s Show, Melrose Place, Party of Five, The Simpsons, The O.C., The Sopranos, 7th Heaven, Friday Night Lights, The Wire, Ugly Betty, Criminal Minds, One Tree Hill, Californication, The Office, Family Guy, Parks and Recreation and Billions.

Between 2004 and 2009, Petty voiced the character Lucky on 28 episodes of Mike Judge's animated series, King of the Hill. He also played himself on an episode of The Larry Sanders Show, voiced himself on an episode of The Simpsons and made appearances on the Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel Live and Saturday Night Live.

Tom Petty was a musician, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and record producer. He was best known as the frontman of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, but was also a member and co-founder of the late-1980s supergroup the Traveling Wilburys (which included George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynne) and his early band Mudcrutch.

Petty’s hits included “Refugee,” “Don’t Come Around Here No More,” “Free Fallin’,” “Into the Great Wide Open,” "The Waiting," "You Got Lucky," "I Won't Back Down," "Learning to Fly" and "Mary Jane's Last Dance.”

His music was often featured on the soundtracks for films and television shows, including episodes of WKRP in Cincinnati, Knight Rider, Miami Vice, It’s Garry Shandling’s Show, Melrose Place, Party of Five, The Simpsons, The O.C., The Sopranos, 7th Heaven, Friday Night Lights, The Wire, Ugly Betty, Criminal Minds, One Tree Hill, Californication, The Office, Family Guy, Parks and Recreation and Billions.

Between 2004 and 2009, Petty voiced the character Lucky on 28 episodes of Mike Judge's animated series, King of the Hill. He also played himself on an episode of The Larry Sanders Show, voiced himself on an episode of The Simpsons and made appearances on the Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel Live and Saturday Night Live.

Petty began his career in music at the age of 17, when he dropped out of high school to pursue his passion full time with his band Mudcrutch. His debut album with the Heartbreakers came out in 1976, and included the rock classics “Breakdown” and “American Girl.”

Petty died October 2, 2017, in Santa Monica, California. He was 66.

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Tom Petty

Tom Petty

Photo credit: 
Rex Features via AP Images