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Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers perform in Napa, California, at the sold-out BottleRock festival in May. The 66-year-old Malibu resident died Oct. 2 after going into cardiac arrest. Sterling Munksgard/
Barbara Burke, Freelance Reporter
11:01 am PDT October 10, 2017

The news hit like a thunderbolt: Malibu’s beloved and adored Tom Petty — an iconic musician, songwriter, record producer and performer — died of cardiac arrest at 66 years old.  

After clinging to his life for a harrowing day on Oct. 2 — when fans worldwide desperately tweeted encouragements such as “Knowing you won’t back down, Tom!” — the legendary musician died, surrounded by family, friends and members of his band.