Best Known For
Tom Petty is best known as the frontman of the band Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. He pursued a solo career in 1989, recording such hit songs as "Free Fallin'" and "Runnin' Down a Dream."
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Born in Florida in 1950, Tom Petty is a singer, songwriter and musician best known as the frontman of the band Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. After performing with several local bands in his teens, he left high school to tour with the rock band Mudcrutch. Although the band never made it big, members Mike Campbell, Benmont Tench and Petty later joined up to form the Heartbreakers. In 1989 he pursued a solo career,
"If you're phony, they will feel it in the farthest row of the arena."
releasing his first album Full Moon Fever. The album contained some of his most famous hits including "Free Fallin'," "Runnin' Down a Dream" and "I Won't Back Down." His next album, Wildflowers (1994), earned critical acclaim. In 2001, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Thomas Earl Petty was born on October 20, 1950, in Gainesville, Florida. One of the most enduring performers in rock 'n' roll, Petty began playing with local bands while in his teens. He left high school to tour with his country-influenced rock band Mudcrutch.
While Mudcrutch never made it big, it did contain some of the future members of the Heartbreakers, Mike Campbell and Benmont Tench. Petty joined with Campbell, Tench, Ron Blair and Stan Lynch in 1975 to form Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. The following year, the band released their first self-titled album, which featured two popular tracks: "American Girl" and "Breakdown."
After resolving some legal and financial problems in the 1970s, Tom Petty continued on his path to musical stardom. The band's third album, Damn the Torpedoes (1979), went platinum due in part on the success of such singles as "Don't Do Me Like That" and "Refugee." Petty also sang a duet with Stevie Nicks, "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around," for her album Bella Donna (1981), with the Heartbreakers lending their musical talents to the track.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers found more success with their next two albums Hard Promises (1981) and Long After Dark (1982), which featured such hits as "A Woman in Love" and "You Got Lucky." The next album didn't come together as easily. Southern Accents (1985) took three years to make, during which time Petty punched a wall and broke his hand, allegedly out of frustration. Petty and the Heartbreakers later toured with Bob Dylan, serving as his band.
The late 1980s brought many changes for Tom Petty. He faced a personal setback in 1987 when his San Fernando Valley, California, home burned down, destroying most of what he owned. The following year, he joined forces with Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynne to form the Traveling Wilburys. This group of musical superstars released their first self-titled album that year to warm reviews and strong sales.
Working with Lynne, Petty took a break from the Heartbreakers and put out his first solo album Full Moon Fever in 1989. The album sold more than 3 million copies and scored hits with "Free Fallin'," "Runnin' Down a Dream" and "I Won't Back Down." The following year, Petty reunited with Lynne, Dylan and Harrison to release the oddly titled Traveling Wilburys, Vol.
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