Tom Petty

April 06, 2017 - 310 views

Thomas Earl Petty (October 20, 1950 – October 2, 2017) was an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, and actor. Petty served as the lead singer of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers formed in 1976. He was also a member and co-founder of the late 1980s supergroup the Traveling Wilburys, and his early band Mudcrutch.

Petty recorded a number of hit singles with the Heartbreakers and as a solo artist. In his career, he sold more than 80 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time.[1] In 2001, Petty was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He died, aged 66, of cardiac arrest on October 2, 2017.[2

 

1976–1987: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers[edit]

Shortly after embracing his musical aspirations, Petty started a band known as the Epics, later to evolve into Mudcrutch. Although the band, which featured future Heartbreakers Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench, were popular in Gainesville, their recordings went unnoticed by a mainstream audience. Their only single, "Depot Street", was released in 1975 by Shelter Records, but failed to chart.[21]

After Mudcrutch split up, Petty reluctantly agreed to pursue a solo career. Tench decided to form his own group, whose sound Petty appreciated. Eventually, Petty and Campbell collaborated with Tench and fellow members Ron Blair and Stan Lynch, resulting in the first lineup of the Heartbreakers. Their eponymous debut album gained minute popularity amongst American audiences, achieving greater success in Britain. The single "Breakdown" was re-released in 1977, and peaked at No. 40 in early 1978 after the band toured in the United Kingdom in support of Nils Lofgren. The debut album was released by Shelter Records, which at that time was distributed by ABC Records.[22]

 

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