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14 Times Tom Petty Absolutely Slayed Us With His Music

tom petty

Today is a sad day for everyone. The tragedy in Las Vegas has devastated families across the country–but now, it’s been reported that Tom Petty had a heart attack and was just taken off life support today.

Petty, who is 66, was born and raised in Gainesville, Florida–and with songs like “Breakdown” and “Free Fallin'” became an important figure in American households everywhere. He is one of those figures who was beloved by multiple generations at once, even in the same family. Personally, I remember my mom playing Tom Petty all the time–and since I grew up to his music, it’s strange for me to think of him being gone.

Last November, Petty said his 40th anniversary tour might be his “last big one,” and sadly, appears to be true. Petty won three Grammy awards and is a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer. His song lyrics are honest and straightforward, and it’s hard not to love them–and be inspired by their beauty. “Wildflowers” couldn’t be more apt to right now, for instance:

“You belong among the wildflowers
You belong in a boat out at sea
Sail away, kill off the hours
You belong somewhere you feel free

Run away, find you a lover
Go away somewhere all bright and new
I have seen no other
Who compares with you

You belong among the wildflowers
You belong in a boat out at sea
You belong with your love on your arm
You belong somewhere you feel free

Run away, go find a lover
Run away, let your heart be your guide
You deserve the deepest of cover
You belong in that home by and by

You belong among the wildflowers
You belong somewhere close to me
Far away from your trouble and worry
You belong somewhere you feel free
You belong somewhere you feel free”

Here’s some of my favorite Petty classics (my #1 being “Wildflowers,” of course):

1. Wildflowers

2. I Won’t Back Down

3. Runnin’ Down a Dream

4. The Waiting

5. Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around (featuring Stevie Nicks)

6. Mary Jane’s Last Dance

7. Learning to Fly

8. Don’t Come Around Here No More

10. You Don’t Know How It Feels

11. Free Fallin’

12. Here Comes My Girl

13. Refugee

14. Breakdown

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