Tom Petty, the American songwriter-singer and multi-instrumentalist, was born on October 20, 1950 in Gainesville, Florida. He serves as frontman for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. He was also a founding member of Traveling Wilburys, a late 1980s super group, as well as Mudcrutch. Petty has also performing using the pseudonyms Muddy Wilbury and Charlie T. Wilbury, Jr.
Petty has recorded numerous hit singles both as a soloist and with the Heartbreakers, including “Breakdown,” “Refugee,” “Don’t Do Me Like That,” “Don’t Come Around Here No More,” and “Free Fallin.” Many of the songs still receive heavy play on classic rock and adult contemporary radio. Petty’s music, and especially his hit singles, are popular with the younger generations and he continues selling out shows. Petty along with his collaborators over the course of their careers have sold approximately 60 million albums.
In 2006, Petty and Heartbreakers went on tour to celebrate their 30th anniversary of performing together. Petty has released solo work occasionally as well, such as Highway Companion in 2006, where he performs a majority of the instrumentation. Heartbreakers band members have played on all of Petty’s solo albums and also back him when he tours in support of his solo albums. Petty toured with Mudcrutch as well to help promote the group’s debut album.
Since 1976, Tony Dimitriades has managed Petty’s career. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers made an appearance and performed during the halftime show of Super Bowl XLII in February 2008.