Rock superstar Tom Petty dies; sold 80 million records

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Rock superstar Tom Petty has died at age 66.

Spokeswoman Carla Sacks says Petty died Monday night at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles after he suffered cardiac arrest.

Petty, usually backed by his longtime band the Heartbreakers, was known for such hits as “Free Fallin,'” “Refugee” and “American Girl.” The Gainesville, Florida native with the shaggy blond hair and gaunt features drew upon the Byrds, the Beatles and other musicians he loved while growing up in the 1960s. He was also a member of the impromptu supergroup the Traveling Wilburys, which included Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynne.

Petty and the Heartbreakers had recently completed a 40th anniversary tour, one he hinted would be their last. Petty, whose worldwide sales topped 80 million records, was inducted into the Rock Hall of Fame in 2002.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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