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Thomas Earl Petty is a famous singer, guitarist and song writer, he has number of hits to his credit "Don't Do Me Like That", "Refugee", "Runnin' Down a Dream", "The Waiting", "Don't Come Around Here No More", "I Won't Back Down", "Free Fallin'", "Mary Jane's Last Dance", "American Girl", and "You Don't Know How It Feels", most of which remain heavily played on adult contemporary and classic rock radio.
Petty has a career which is being supported by his group members. He also has a group with the name of Heartbreakers. He was quite vocal against the modern recording industry and the disappearing of the independent radio stations as well. He has solo work in his career like the one named, "Highway Companion", released in 2006
Tom Petty was born in 1950s in Gainesville, Florida, USA. He had an interest in rock and roll music even at age of 10 when he got a chance to meet the legendary Elvis Presley by the help of his uncle. He thought of becoming a band member on a serious note after watching the tour of "The Beatles" in 1964.
Petty had a very sensitive and difficult relationship with his father. His father was not convinced with the fact of seeing his son working in the field of arts. He had to face every kind of abuse by his father but his dedication to music did not end up. He was very close to his mother and brother for a lifetime.
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers (1976-1987)
He began working with the Heartbreakers and Tom Petty after having a short term connection with the bands like The Sundowners, The Epics and Mudcrutch. Being in Heartbreakers, they recorded an album, which did not receive any great attention by audiences as well as critics. The single "Breakdown" was re-released in 1977 and peaked at #40 in early 1978. This was after word filtered back to the United States that the band was creating a stir in the UK. The debut album was released by Shelter Records, which at that time was distributed by ABC Records.
Their second album, You're Gonna Get It!, marked the band's first gold album and featured the singles "I Need To Know" and "Listen To Her Heart." Their third album, Damn the Torpedoes, quickly went platinum. It includes their breakthrough singles "Don't Do Me Like That" and "Refugee." During the album's ensuing supporting tour, Petty came down with tonsillitis, causing a few concerts to be canceled. In February 1980, he had his tonsils removed and the band was back on the road a few weeks later.
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers performed at a Musicians United for Safe Energy concert at Madison Square Garden in New York in 1976. Their rendition of "Cry to Me" was featured on the resulting No Nukes album, but Petty refused to appear in the concert film of the event due to what he felt was a not a part of their performance.
Tom Petty's first appearance in film took place in 1978, when he had a guest appearance in the film called 'FM'. He later had a small part in 1987's 'Made In Heaven', and appeared in several episodes of It's Garry Shandling's Show between 1987 and 1990, playing himself as one of Garry Shandling's neighbors. Petty also appeared as The Bridge City Mayor in the 1997 movie, The Postman, directed by and starring Kevin Costner.
In 2002 he appeared on The Simpsons in the episode "How I Spent My Strummer Vacation". He had a role of a tutor who used to teach Homer Simpson about the art of lyric writing, composing a brief song about a drunken girl driving down the road while concerned with the state of public schools. Later in the episode, he loses a toe during a riot.Petty currently has a recurring role as Lucky in the animated show King of the Hill.
Petty has been honored with 18 Grammy Award nominations since 1981. In that year he received his first nomination for "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" in the category of Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. He received his first Grammy in 1989 for Best Rock Performance By A Duo or Group With Vocal for Traveling Wilburys Volume One.
In 1995 he received another Grammy for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance for "You Don't Know How It Feels" and engineers David Bianco, Jim Scott, Richard Dodd and Stephen McLaughlin won the Grammy for Best Engineered Album (Non-Classical) for Wildflowers, which also earned him a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Album. There are other Wildflowers achievements included Best Male Video Award for "You Don't Know How It Feels" at the 1995 MTV Video Music Awards.
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers won the same award in 1994 with the video for "Mary Jane's Last Dance". At the 1994 ceremony, Petty was also presented with the Video Vanguard Award, citing his longtime contributions to the field. In accepting the award though, Petty denied his work was any more important than anyone else's, saying that all artistic expression was equally valid.In 1994, You Got Lucky, a Tom Petty tribute album featuring such bands as Everclear and Silkworm was released.In April 1996, Petty received the UCLA's George and Ira Gershwin Award for Lifetime Musical Achievement. The next month, Petty won the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers' Golden Note Award.Personal lifeHe was at first married to Jane Benyo and their relationship lasted for 22 years. He was the busiest man in all those years regarding his career.. He has two daughters by that marriage. In the year 2001 he had a second marriage to Dana York, who used to come to his concerts as one of his fans.It was in 1987, that his house was set on fire by an arsonist as he was living in California. The fire caused $1 million in damage but firefighters were able to salvage the basement recording studio and the original tapes stored there, as well as a Gibson Dove Acoustic Guitar. He made an identical home on the remains of the earlier one.
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