Rock superstar Tom Petty dies at 66 - Emirates24|7

Rock superstar Tom Petty dies at 66

Photo: AFP/Getty

Rocker Tom Petty died Monday after suffering cardiac arrest, his family confirmed, hours after news organizations retracted unconfirmed reports of his death.

"On behalf of the Tom Petty family we are devastated to announce the untimely death of  our father, husband, brother, leader and friend Tom Petty," a family statement said.

Petty - the singer with his band The Heartbreakers of hits such as "I Won't Back Down" and "Free Fallin'" - suffered cardiac arrest early Monday at his home in Malibu, the family said.

He was taken to a Los Angeles hospital but could not be revived and at 8:40 pm (0340 GMT) "died peacefully... surrounded by family, his bandmates and friends," the statement said.

Celebrity news site TMZ and network CBS had earlier reported that he had already died, triggering an outraged denial from Petty's daughter.

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