Seventies hit-maker Tom Petty 'clinging to life' after heart attack

Tom Petty decided he wanted to be a musician after seeing The Beatles on TV at the age of 13. Source: YouTube/Wochit Entertainment

Singer Tom Petty, who rose to fame in the 1970s with his band, the Hearbreakers, is reportedly on life support in hospital, a day after suffering a heart attack at home.

Petty, 66,  was taken to hospital after being found unconscious at his home in Malibu, Los Angeles,  TMZ reported, and placed on life support. There were conflicting reports about whether this was subsequently switched off or not, with CBS News in the US citing police sources as saying that Petty had died, but then retracting its report. 

TMZ, which first reported that Petty had been taken to hospital, also updated its report to say:

Ad. Article continues below.

In the meantime, Twitter began filling up with tributes to the star, as people read reports of his death.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers produced many hits, including ‘Breakdown’, ‘Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around’ and ‘American Girl, and had big success with their 1979 album Damn the Torpedoes. They continued to perform to this day, just last week finishing a US tour .

Petty also won over a new generation with a solo career and as part of the Traveling Wilburys in the late 1980s. Some of his best-known songs included ‘I Won’t Back Down’ and ‘Freefallin’.

In December, the singer told Rolling Stone that he thought the just-finished tour, which took in 24 US states over 53 shows, would probably be his and the groups’s last.

“We’re all on the backside of our 60s,” he said. “I have a granddaughter now I’d like to see as much as I can. I don’t want to spend my life on the road. This tour will take me away for four months. With a little kid, that’s a lot of time.”

According to CBS, Petty has sold more than 80 million records worldwide making him one of the best-selling musicians of all time.

Are you a Tom Petty fan? Did you like his earlier music or more recent songs?