US singer Tom Petty has died, aged 66, after clinging to life for some hours after a heart attack.
Petty is the frontman of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, producing such hits as 'American Girl', 'Breakdown', 'Free Fallin', 'Learning to Fly' and 'Refugee'.
The group had just finished a 40th anniversary tour which wrapped up at the Hollywood Bowl arena in Los Angeles last week.
Petty was found unconscious, not breathing and in full cardiac arrest at his Malibu home early on Monday. He was taken to hospital, but could not be revived and died today at 4.40pm (NZ time).
CBS News had earlier reported that Petty had died after life support was switched off following cardiac arrest on Sunday.
Petty was also a co-founder of the Traveling Wilburys group in the late 1980s, touring with Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, Jeff Lynne and George Harrison.
According to legend, he decided to become a musician after shaking Elvis Presley's hand in the 1950s. He traded his slingshot for a box of records and never looked back.
Aged 17, Petty dropped out of school to join Mudcrutch with future Heartbreakers Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench.
The band learned their craft by listening to pop radio, he once told NPR.
In the early 1970s, they moved to Los Angeles in the hope of scoring a record contract. Petty succeeded, but the band fell apart soon after.
It was not until 1975 that the musicians reunited and The Heartbreakers were formed. The quintet released their self-titled debut a year later.
This summer, the musicians performed in London's Hyde Park.
That show was intended to be a celebration of The Heartbreakers' 40th anniversary, but now serves as the band's UK swan song.
The band wrapped up their tour just a week ago.