Today's Evil Beet Gossip

Tom Petty dead at 66

Tom Petty and wife Dana York (right) during the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York on Monday, March 15, 2004

Tom Petty, the musical legend behind some of rock’s greatest hits, died Monday after going into cardiac arrest.

He was 66.

The “Free Fallin’” singer was taken to UCLA Medical Center early Monday morning but could not be revived, Tony Dimitriades, the band manager said in a statement.

He died at 11:30 p.m., surrounded by family, friends and his bandmates.

Throughout his prolific career, Petty notched three Grammy wins and 18 nominations, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.

The Gainesville, Fl. native launched his indelible legacy at 17, when he quit high school to join the Florida band Mudcrutch.

In doing so, he escaped an abusive father; a charming, charismatic man with a violent drunk streak. Music, Petty told Men’s Journal in 2014, was a “safe place.”

Though the group disbanded after heading west to Los Angeles, Petty soon found a better venture in Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, for which he served as lead singer and guitarist.

He is survived by his wife, Dana York, whom he married in 2001, two daughters and one stepson.