“Tom Petty changed my life”: The social-media tributes to a rock icon

Think of me what you will, I got a little space to fill.
Think of me what you will, I got a little space to fill.
Image: Reuters/Eduardo Munoz
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Tom Petty, the rock icon who had just concluded the 40th-anniversary tour for his band, the Heartbreakers, has died.

A statement released by the family said the 66-year-old singer died at 8:40pm local time on Oct. 2 after he suffered a heart attack in his Malibu, California home, reports the Los Angeles Times and BuzzFeed.

Before Petty set out on what would be his final tour, he told Rolling Stone, “I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was thinking this might be the last big one.” Petty and the Heartbreakers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. They played what would be their last show at the Hollywood Bowl on Sept. 25.

The legendary musician, whose hits included “Learning to Fly” and “Won’t Back Down,” released three solo albums and 13 albums with the Heartbreakers, as well as joining fellow music icons George Harrison, Roy Orbison, Jeff Lynne, and Bob Dylan to form the Traveling Wilburys supergroup in the 1980s.

“It’s shocking, crushing news. I thought the world of Tom. He was great performer, full of the light, a friend, and I’ll never forget him,” Bob Dylan told Rolling Stone in a statement.

Within minutes of the initial report of the legendary rocker’s passing—which was erroneously reported hours before he died—tributes from musicians, colleagues, friends, and admirers poured in online:

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Juliette Lewis posted footage on Instagram of her singing along to “Freefallin‘” during what would be Petty’s final performance: