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Musicians Mourn ‘Hero’ Tom Petty: ‘This Is Unbearable’

UPDATED: Musicians mourned the loss of rock icon Tom Petty with an outpouring of tributes on social media.

The Gainesville, Fla., native suffered a heart attack Sunday at his home in Malibu, Calif. He was transferred to UCLA Medical Center-Santa Monica, where he was on life support until he died Monday evening at age 66.

Although Petty’s actual time of death was 8:40 p.m. PT on Monday, several media outlets reported that Petty had died earlier in the day, leading to a premature wave of statements and tributes. At his time of death, Petty was “surrounded by family, his bandmates, and friends,” according to Tony Dimitriades, the longtime manager of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

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

Longtime friend and collaborator Jeff Lynne said simply: “Tom Petty was the coolest guy I ever knew.”

“This is unbearable,” Sheryl Crow wrote on Twitter. “Vegas and now a great music hero has passed. You brought us so much joy, [Tom Petty]. We will miss you.”

“I loved Tom Petty and I covered his songs because I wanted to know what it felt like to fly,” John Mayer wrote.

“Thank you, Tom Petty, for all of the light you brought to the world,” Ed Helms said.

A number of musicians thanked Petty for his influence on their work. “Tom Petty changed my life,” Jack Antonoff wrote. “There is a reference to him in everything I’ve ever written. I love his work and life.”

Chuck D tweeted, “Damn ….Tom Petty I remember standing backstage w him & he tells me ‘Go Get Em at a. Presentation”

Ezra Koenig said, “Damn we love you Tom Petty. Incredible songwriter. ‘Free Fallin'” is truly one of the greatest pieces of American art. So perfect & sad.”

See more tributes dedicated to Petty below:

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