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In a 2006 interview, Petty told United States radio show Fresh Air, he knew he wanted to be in a band "the minute I saw The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show" while still a child in Florida.

The Heartbreakers front-man was rushed to the hospital Monday morning after he was found unconscious in his Malibu home, and could not be revived, his manager confirmed in a statement. "He died peacefully at 8:40pm PT surrounded by family, his bandmates and friends", a statement read. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Bob Dylan - a friend of Petty's and a Traveling Wilbury's bandmate said - It's shocking, crushing news.I thought the world of Tom. "It's a punishing way of life, especially for someone of Petty's age", says Crandall, chief of the cardiac transplant program at the world-renowned Palm Beach Cardiovascular Center in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. Sheryl Crowe and Bryan Adams were some of the first to share their tributes to the late rock legend. As one music journalist noted today via Twitter, "I have never met a person who hates Tom Petty or his music".

Tom Petty, the frontman for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and member of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, is "clinging to life," in hospital.

Petty rose to fame with his band Petty and his Heartbreakers. The band's early singles "Breakdown" and "American Girl" became staples of rock radio and upon their release, ignited a sizzling string of hits that defined their career. He had said it was likely to be their last. I have a granddaughter now I'd like to see as much as I can. "Can't go see/hear music and be safe and one of the greats just passed".

Last month, Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers completed a tour to mark their 40th anniversary, including a show at London's British Summer Time festival in Hyde Park. With a little kid, that's a lot of time, ' he said.