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US rocker Tom Petty reported dead at age 66 -US media

US rocker Tom Petty reported dead at age 66 -US media

Tributes have been pouring in from music's elite like Petty's Traveling Wilburys bandmate Bob Dylan and Paul McCartney, and Hollywood friends and fans.

Petty's publicist confirmed late Monday that the rocker died at 8:40 p.m. after having suffered cardiac arrest.

Considered one of the best-selling artists of all time, Petty achieved massive success despite what Rolling Stone reports were a series of setbacks: quitting high school at age 17, weathering a tumultuous relationship with his father, enduring bankruptcy after finding fame and surviving a house fire. Before Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, he performed with his first band, the Sundowners, around the area.

Although his roots were planted in Florida, Petty was a storyteller who belonged to the world.

He was from what he called the "redneck, hillbilly" part of town.

He elaborated in a 2014 conversation with Men's Journal about his relative lack of vices: "I'm mostly just a reefer guy". So it's an interesting blend. "You knew it was them as soon as you heard it". They were more of just your white trash kind of ... family.

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"I'm fine with whatever religion you want to have, but it can't tell anybody it's OK to kill people, and it can't abuse children systematically for God knows how many years".

Petty, usually backed by his longtime band the Heartbreakers, was known for such hits as "Free Fallin, '" "Refugee" and "American Girl".

Appleton singer-songwriter Christopher Gold has been rocked by the sudden death of Tom Petty. His music could make a bad day good and a good day even better.

Those experiences made Petty one of the great commentators on the music biz with songs like "Into The Great Wide Open", "The Last DJ" and, of course, his cover of the Byrds' "So You Wanna Be a Rock and Roll Star".

"I'm thinking it may be the last trip around the country", Petty said to Rolling Stone of the anniversary tour a year ago. And I wonder when you're recording a new album if you ever do that, if you take a demo or take a rough recording and take it out for a drive, see how it sounds on the highway outside the studio.

I can't begin to count the number of times that I've been on a long drive and Tom Petty would be blaring on my cd player, me singing along in the vehicle as the miles melted away.

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