It’s incredibly hard to discuss the landscape of American rock & roll music in the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s without including Tom Petty in that discussion. Petty was a multi-talented musician, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer, who, during his incredibly long career, sold more than 80 million albums. Petty also formed a supergroup with Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, and Roy Orbison, and spent his free time fighting for the rights of every musician who wanted to step on a stage and share their art with the world.
One Of Rock & Roll’s Greatest
Petty also battled his own demons, was nearly killed by an arsonist, and didn’t score his first #1 album until he was in his 60s. Sadly, Petty died on October 2, 2017, after he suffered from cardiac arrest and was unable to be revived by doctors at UCLA Medical Center.
In January of 2018, Tom Petty’s family made the startling announcement that the singer’s death three months earlier had been the result of an accidental drug overdose. Many fans were surprised by this revelation, as Petty had expressed some pretty strong views on drugs and alcohol during his life. The coroner’s report listed “multi-system organ failure” due to “mixed drug toxicity” as the official cause of death. The dangerous opioid drug fentanyl, along with oxycodone, citalopram, temazepam, Xanax, despropionyl fentanyl, and acetyl fentanyl were discovered in his system during the autopsy. Petty had been in excruciating pain after completing a 53-show tour on a fractured hip. While touring, Petty’s fracture worsened to a full-blown break.
As we mourn the singer’s passing, we also reflect on the incredible life he lived and the lives he touched along the way. Wait until you see who he considered to be among his best friends!