Thomas Earl Petty, popularly known as Tom Petty was an American singer, songwriter, musician, record producer, and actor. Petty was the lead vocalist and guitarist of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. He was one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold over 80 million records worldwide. Some of his hit singles with the Heartbreakers are “Don’t Do Me Like That” (1979), “Refugee” (1980), “The Waiting” (1981), “Don’t Come Around Here No More” (1985), and “Learning to Fly” (1991). He was also a member of the late 1980s supergroup, the Travelling Wilburys. Some of his solo hit singles are “I Won’t Back Down” (1989), “Free Fallin'” (1989), and “You Don’t Know How It Feels” (1994).
The legendary musician Tom Petty died of an accidental drug overdose in Santa Monica on 2 October 2017.
What is Tom Petty Famous For?
- The lead vocalist and guitarist of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
Where is Tom Petty From?
Tom Petty was born on 20 October 1950. His birth name was Thomas Earl Petty. His birth place was in Gainesville, Florida in the United States. He held an American nationality. She was born to his father, Earl Petty, and his mother, Kitty Katherine. He has one sibling, a brother named Bruce. He belonged to white ethnicity and his religion was Christianity. His zodiac sign was Libra.
Tom Petty Career
- Tom Petty’s interest in music began after he met Elvis Presley when he was 10 years old.
- He wanted to be in a band after seeing the Beatles. He credited the Rolling Stones with inspiring him by demonstrating that he and musicians like him could make it in rock and roll.
- He dropped out of high school at the age of 17 to play bass with his newly formed band, Epics.
- The band later evolved into Mudcrutch with future Heartbreakers Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench.
- The band’s only single, “Depot Street” was released in 1975.
- The band Mudcrutch split and Petty pursued a solo career.
- He formed his own band and formed the first lineup of the Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers with Mike Campbell, Benmont Tench, Ron Blair, and Stan Lynch.
- The band released their eponymous debut album which garnered more success in Britain than in the United States. It included their hit songs, “American Girl” and “Breakdown”.
- The band went on to release 12 more albums.
- The band’s albums were Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (1976), You’re Gonna Get It! (1978), Damn the Torpedoes (1979), Hard Promises (1981), Long After Dark (1982), Southern Accents (1985), Let Me Up (I’ve Had Enough) (1987), Into the Great Wide Open (1991), Songs and Music from “She’s the One” (1996), Echo (1999), The Last DJ (2002), Mojo (2010), and Hypnotic Eye (2014).
- Petty joined George Harrison’s group, the Traveling Wilburys in 1988. It included Bob Dylan, Rob Orbison, and Jeff Lynne.
- The band released two albums, Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1 and Traveling Wilburys Vol. 3. The album was named Vol. 3 as a response to a series of bootlegged studio sessions being sold as Travelling Wilburys Vol. 2.
- As a solo artist, he released three solo albums, Full Moon Fever (1989), Wildflowers (1994), and Highway Companion (2006).
- The Heartbreakers embarked on a 40th Anniversary Tour of the United States in 2017. Their last performance of the tour at the Hollywood Bowl in Hollywood, California ultimately became the group’s final show.
- As an actor, he starred in numerous movies and television shows. He made his first appearance in the 1978 film, FM where he had a cameo appearance.
- He starred in films, Made in Heaven, and The Postman among others.
- He voiced Lucky/Mud Dobber in the animated sitcom, King of the Hill from 2004 to 2009.
- Peter Bogdanovich’s documentary film on Petty’s career titled Runnin’ Down a Dream premiered at the New York Film Festival in October 2007.
- He received UCLA’s George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin Award for Lifetime Musical Achievement in 1994.
- He won the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers’ Golden Note Award in 1996.
- Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1999, for their contribution to the recording industry.
- Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in December 2001.
- He received the Billboard Century Award, the organization’s highest honor for creative achievement on December 6, 2005.
- Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers received the keys to the city of Gainesville, Florida in 2006.
- He was honored as MusiCares Person of the Year in February 2017 for his contributions to music and for his philanthropy.
Who Was Tom Petty Married To?
Tom Petty was first married to Jane Benyo from 1974 to 1996. They shared two daughters together, Adria, and Annakim.
Petty married Dana York in 2001.
How Tall was Tom Petty?
Tom Petty stood around the height of 1.76 m i.e. 5 feet and 9 inches tall. He has a body weight of around 154 lbs i.e. 70 kg. His eye color was light blue and his hair color was blonde. His sexual orientation was straight.
How Did Tom Petty Die?
Tom Petty struggled with heroin addiction from roughly 1996 to 1999. He blamed the pain from his divorce to Benyo as a major cause for his addiction. He was admitted to a treatment center and overcame his addiction in 1999. In the early morning of 2 October 2017 at his home, he was found unconscious. He was resuscitated and taken to the UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica, California where he died. It later announced that he died from an accidental drug overdose from a combination of fentanyl, oxycodone, acetyl fentanyl and despropionyl fentanyl (all opioids); temazepam and alprazolam (both sedatives); and citalopram (an antidepressant). He had been facing several medical issues. A memorial service was held at the Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine in Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles on October 16, 2017.
What is Tom Petty Net Worth?
Tom Petty was one of the most commercially successful musicians of all time. Having sold over 80 million records worldwide, he is one of the best-selling music artists of all time. His music career spanned for decades with the bands, Mudcrutch, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and Traveling Wilburys. He also pursued a solo career. He has released over 20 albums as a band or as a solo artist. The majority of his income came from his record sales, label contracts, concerts, tours, and sponsorships. He has a lucrative recording contract with his record label. Around the time of his death, his net worth was estimated at around $95 million.