The maker of hit numbers like American Girl, Don’t Come Around Here No More, I Won’t Back Down and many more — Tom Petty, passed away at 66 on Monday night. The rocker was hospitalised at UCLA Medical Center after suffering a heart attack at his home in Malibu. The singer was surrounded by his close friends, family members and band mates, the time he died.

The tragic news was confirmed by Tom Petty’s long time manager Tony Dimitriades to the media.

Tom Petty, who was born on October 20, was also a member and co-founder of the late 1980s super group the ‘Traveling Wilburys’, and his early band ‘Mudcrutch’. Tom also recorded a number of hit singles with the early band, ‘Heartbreakers’, and a few as a solo artist too.

Being mostly liked by the younger generation, Tom’s music was generally termed as rock and roll, heartland rock, and even stoner rock.

Petty was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002, after he had sold more than 80 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time.

Legendary singer Tom Petty’s interest in rock and roll music began at a small age of 10 when he met Elvis Presley for the first time. Tom Petty also created a buzz with an opening track, ‘Free Fallin’, from his solo album, Full Moon Fever (1989).

Revealing his true inspiration of being a band member, Tom Petty in an interview had said that he knew he wanted to be in a band the moment he saw the Beatles on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’.

Speaking to a daily, Petty had said, “The minute I saw the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show — and it’s true of thousands of guys — there was the way out. There was the way to do it. You get your friends and you’re a self-contained unit. And you make the music. And it looked like so much fun. It was something I identified with. I had never been hugely into sports. I had been a big fan of Elvis. But I really saw in the Beatles that here’s something I could do. I knew I could do it. It wasn’t long before there were groups springing up in garages all over the place”.