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Guitarist and frontman for the rock band Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, as well as founding member of The Traveling Wilburys. Petty died on October 2, 2017 at the age of 66 in Santa Monica California, of cardiac arrest.
- The cause of death was determined to be an accidental overdose of painkillers, including fentanyl and oxycodone.
- The funeral service for Petty was just this past Monday, October 16. His daughters had tee shirts made for the occasion (just like a Tom Petty concert?). The tee shirt included an illustration of Petty playing his guitar with the words “Nil Desperandum,” a Latin quote from the poet Horace which translates to “no need to despair.”
- Petty’s career with the Heartbreakers started in 1976. Their final concert was on September 25 at the Hollywood Bowl. A few days before his death, Petty said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times that the Heartbreakers would probably disband if one of its members died or became too ill to perform.
- Three of the Traveling Wilburys have now died – Petty, Roy Orbison and George Harrison. Surviving members are Bob Dylan and Jeff Lynne.
- Petty was recently honored as the 2017 MusiCares Person of the Year, an annual award presented by The Recording Academy, the same organization that distributes the Grammy Awards. The award is based on both artistic achievement and dedication to charity work. Attached is his acceptance speech from February 10th this year. Also, I’ve attached his performance of American Girl from his 2002 induction ceremony into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for your enjoyment.