Fans are still reeling at the loss of iconic rocker Tom Petty at only 66 years old. We’ve got the official cause of death as to what took the brilliant performer from us at such a young age.
It’s just devastating that Tom Petty died at just 66 years old, as the iconic rocker was still alive and well and touring throughout 2017 up until his tragic passing. Paramedics were called to his Malibu home on Oct. 2 after he suffered a full cardiac arrest and now the official cause of death for the rocker has been determined to be a massive accidental drug overdose. According to the LA County Coroner, the singer suffered organ failure due to “mixed drug toxicity.” According to the autopsy report, the late singer had been on several different kinds of pain medication, including Fentanyl patches, oxycodone, temazepam, alprazolam, citalopram, acetylfentanyl and despropionyl fentanyl, which the singer was prescribed for emphysema, knee problems and a fractured hip, among other medical issues. Although he was adamant continuing his tour despite his condition, Tom’s fractured hip worsened and on the day of his death, he was told the fracture had escalated to a full-on break, which may have led to him overusing his medication.
In a statement, Tom’s family talked about how the singer said he “passed away due to an accidental drug overdose as a result of taking a variety of medications.” “As a family we recognize this report may spark a further discussion on the opioid crisis and we feel that it is a healthy and necessary discussion and we hope in some way this report can save lives,” the statement added. “Many people who overdose begin with a legitimate injury or simply do not understand the potency and deadly nature of these medications.” They went on to say, “On a positive note we now know for certain he went painlessly and beautifully exhausted after doing what he loved the most, one last time, performing live with his unmatchable rock band for his loyal fans on the biggest tour of 40 plus year career.”
Petty formed the Heartbreakers in 1976 in Gainesville, FL and burst onto the rock scene with now classic hits “Refugee” and “American Girl,” before blowing up wide with the multiplatinum album Damn the Torpedoes in 1979. While members of the band changed over the years, Petty’s legendary voice and brilliant songwriting skills made him one of the most enduring figures in rock ‘n roll over the next four decades. Even up until his sad passing, he was still playing to packed arenas with his exciting live performances.
He achieved nearly every honor possible in the world of music, with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. At the time the organization called them “the quintessential American individualists. They sing about ordinary struggles in an extraordinary way. From immortalizing the common man in their hit singles to preventing record execs from raising prices, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers are the champions of the average citizen.” See pics of Tom, here.
The band performed as the halftime entertainers at Super Bowl XLII in 2008, and appeared a whopping eight times as the musical guests on Saturday Night Live, spanning from 1983 to 2010. In 2017 Tom was honored as the MusiCares Person of the Year by the Grammys, and he won a trophy of his own in 1996 for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance for “You Don’t Know How It Feels.” His live concerts were legendary and his career enduring, pulling off a huge 40th anniversary celebration tour in 2017, culminating with three shows at the iconic Hollywood Bowl on Sept. 21, 22, and 25. Who could ever have believed that one week later he would pass on to that great rock and roll concert hall in the sky.
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