Tom Petty: Bob Dylan, Carole King and Cameron Crowe lead tributes after singer's death aged 66

Fans and celebrities mourn singer who rose to fame with his band the Heartbreakers

Rachel Roberts
Tuesday 03 October 2017 08:07 BST
Singer Tom Petty has died at the age of 66
Singer Tom Petty has died at the age of 66

Tom Petty has reportedly died at the age of 66 following a cardiac arrest.

The US singer who was best known as the front man of his band The Heartbreakers, was found unconscious and not breathing in his Malibu home on Sunday 1 October.

As news of his death broke, fans and celebrities took to social media to express their sorrow and share their memories of the singer.

Initial reports that Petty was in a critical condition on life support had fans reaching for the lyrics of his most famous songs to urge him to keep fighting.

“Tom, not today. Not yet. Don’t you dare back down. Saw you in aug and sept. Plan on seeing you again. Don’t leave us goddammit,” said Kristin M.

The singer-songwriter was a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, selling more than 80 million records worldwide over the course of his near 50 year career. He was found unresponsive at his Malibu home after apparently suffering a cardiac arrest.

Fans described how the lyrics of his songs had resonated with them, including his famous: "You can stand me up at the gates of hell but I won't back down."

Hollywood writer and director Cameron Crowe shared a photograph and said simply: "No words, just thanks."

Petty had just completed a major tour, wrapping up at the Hollywood Bowl last week

Hollywood Actor John Cusack said: "No matter what happened to you - you always felt like you could go listen to one of his songs - and feel less alone."

Singer-songwriter Carole King also expressed her sorrow, offering condolences to the victims of the Vegas massacre in the same message.

Another fan expressed the feelings of many when he said: "'Free fallin' no more and a true Heartbreaker. A sad day for those who knew and loved his music. #RIPTomPetty."

"It’s shocking, crushing news," Petty's friend and Traveling Wilburys bandmate Bob Dylan told Rolling Stone. "I thought the world of Tom. He was a great performer, full of the light, a friend, and I'll never forget him."

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