Musicians Eulogize Rock Icon Tom Petty

Heavy Hearts Are Breaking Over the Loss of a Heartbreaker

Hearts were already heavy following August’s tragedy in Charlottesville, Virginia, the deadly hurricanes and wildfires that devastated much U.S. in September and the carnage at Las Vegas’ Route 91 Harvest festival on Sunday (Oct. 1).

And now hearts in the music community are utterly broken following the death of rock legend Tom Petty.

Petty was hospitalized on Sunday (Oct. 1) at the UCLA Santa Monica Hospital after being found unconscious and in full cardiac arrest at his Malibu home. His website confirmed his death shortly before midnight on Monday (Oct. 2). He was 66.

Petty’s contributions to music are insurmountable. In the country genre, Chris Stapleton often credits Petty’s 1994 album Wildflowers as one that has significantly impacted his songwriting. In 1996, Petty and the Heartbreakers backed Johnny Cash on the Rick Rubin-produced album Unchained, which won Cash a Grammy for best country album.

In February, George Strait, Don Henley and Lucinda Williams were among the artists who performed at the Recording Academy’s 2017 Musicares Person of the Year honoring Petty’s contributions to music.

Below are reactions to Petty’s death from the country music community and beyond: