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Tom Petty

Tom Petty

Tom Petty, along with his band the Heartbreakers, played heartland rock like few others during an era when guys like Bob Seger and Bruce Springsteen made busted cars, crunchy guitars and lost dreams cool. Inspired as much by the Byrds’ jingle jangle as he was three-chord, garage-rock stomp, Petty wrote music that was more jagged than most of his heartland-rock peers’. He finally found some footing on his classic third album, 1979’s ‘Damn the Torpedoes,’ a masterwork of pop songcraft and sneering rock. With longtime guitarist and collaborator Mike Campbell, Petty has made a series of albums since then that explore everything from psychedelia and hippie idealism to crumbling relationships and late-period priorities. He even formed the Traveling Wilburys supergroup with Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne and Roy Orbison to pay tribute to rock’s past. His best records are that timeless.

LAS VEGAS - OCTOBER 27: (TABLOIDS OUT)  Singer Tom Petty performs on stage at The 2003 Radio Music Awards at the Aladdin Casino Resort October 27, 2003 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photos by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

37 Years Ago: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Release ‘You’re Gonna Get It!’ Album

‘You’re Gonna Get It!,’ which was released on May 2, 1978, loaded up on Byrdsian jingle-jangle, classic-rock guitar crunch and a few meathead riff-based songs that made it clear that Tom Petty and his band had little in common with the skinny-tie kids and their synthesizers.

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Tom Petty, 'Full Moon Fever'
MCA

Tom Petty Trades Intensity for Happiness: The History of ‘Full Moon Fever’

Tom Petty "pissed off" his band by making a solo record, but ultimately the project brought about positive creative and personal changes for everyone involved.

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YouTube
YouTube

Watch Kris Kristofferson Cover Tom Petty’s ‘I Won’t Back Down’

If you're going to hire Kris Kristofferson to star in your eight-hour miniseries about the dawn of the Texas republic, it stands to reason that you'd also ask him to record a song for the soundtrack.

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Getty Images
Getty Images

28 Years Ago: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Succumb to the ’80s on ‘Let Me Up (I’ve Had Enough)’

There's a dark, evil creature shambling through the back catalogs of the greatest rock artists ever, and it's called the '80s.

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Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

16 Years Ago: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Barely Hold It Together on ‘Echo’

Everything Tom Petty touched turned to platinum during the '90s, starting with the sales carryover from his 1989 solo debut Full Moon Fever and continuing through a series of bestselling releases that included a pair of albums with the Heartbreakers, the solo Wildflowers LP and a greatest-hits record that boasted a couple new hits of its own.

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MCA
MCA

30 Years Ago: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Struggle Through Ambitious ‘Southern Accents’

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers took a three-year break from new music between 1982-85, but the band wasn't on vacation.

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Jerod Harris / Matthias Nareyek / MJ Kim / Ian Gavan, Getty Images
Jerod Harris / Matthias Nareyek / MJ Kim / Ian Gavan, Getty Images

Tom Petty, U2, Pink Floyd, Metallica, Neil Young Fall on Grammy Night

The Grammy Awards are hailed as "music's biggest night," but it proved to be a big disappointment for classic-rock artists, instead.

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Funny or Die
Funny or Die

‘Tom Petty’ Makes Startling Plagiarism Discovery in New Video

In a hilarious new video, Funny or Die imagines an entirely different response from Tom Petty to the recent plagiarism controversy regarding a hit song by Sam Smith.

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Jerod Harris, Getty Images
Jerod Harris, Getty Images

UPDATE – Sam Smith Says Tom Petty Settlement the Result of a ‘Complete Coincidence,’ Petty Agrees

Tom Petty and Sam Smith have reached an amicable settlement regarding the similarities between Smith's 'Stay With Me' and Petty's 'I Won't Back Down.'

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Jerod Harris / Theo Wargo, Getty Images
Jerod Harris / Theo Wargo, Getty Images

Tom Petty Awarded Cowriting Credit for Sam Smith’s ‘Stay With Me’

One of 2014's biggest hit singles just put some extra money in Tom Petty's pocket.

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