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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3, the band's second album. (Orbison died of a heart attack in 1988.) The group won the Grammy Award for best rock performance by a duo or group with vocals—a career first for Petty.
Reunited with the Heartbreakers, Petty and the band achieved commercial and critical success with Into The Great Wide Open (1991). Petty continued to divide his time between recording with the band and his solo efforts, producing several more albums. His next solo album, 1994's Wildflowers,
was considered one of his strongest recordings by critics. It has a laid-back, melancholy feel to it with the title track and "It's Good to Be King." Petty won the 1995 Grammy Award for best male rock vocal performance for "You Don't Know How It Feels."
In 2001, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were recognized for their contributions to music with their induction into the Rock and Rock Hall of Fame. The following year, the group released The Last DJ (2002), which criticized the music industry. Critics were divided on this album, with some calling it "gutsy" and others saying that it sounded grouchy.
In 2006, Petty released the solo album Highway Companion to mostly positive reviews, with "Saving Grace" making an appearance on both the rock and pop charts. That same year, Petty played several concert dates with the Heartbreakers in celebration of their 30-year anniversary as a group. It was also in 2006 that Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers headlined the fifth annual Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival.
In 2008, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers performed during the Super Bowl halftime show. Two years later, in 2010, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers announced that they would be releasing a new album—their first studio project in eight years—entitled Mojo, along with a summer tour. In 2013, Petty and his bandmates returned to perform at Bonnaroo once again.
Petty has two daughters with his first wife, Jane Benyo. He married second wife Dana York in 2001.
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