Editor’s note: Minutes after we published this story the family announced that Tom Petty, 66, had died. Our heart goes out to his family and friends who were DEVASTATED that CBS, Rolling Stone, Billboard, and many others had all rushed to announce the musician’s death BEFORE he had actually passed. We waited and are now letting you know he has, in fact, died.
I loved my fellow Libra artist and saw him live over 25 years ago. Going up in an Indiana town I always could relate with Mary Jane’s last dance…
End of update
In the early afternoon hours of Monday, CBS News reported that Tom Petty was dead. The news kicked off widespread reaction and tributes from singers like John Mayer, Shania Twain, and Jon Bon Jovi but there was just one problem, it wasn’t true. He wasn’t dead.
Apparently, CBS reported Mr. Petty’s death on Twitter, attributing the news to the Los Angeles Police Department, (“initial information was inadvertently provided to some media sources.”1) even though they had no investigative role in what had happened.
“But about an hour after the CBS report went online, the Los Angeles Police Department said it could not confirm his death, setting off mass confusion on social media over Mr. Petty’s actual condition. Mr. Petty, 66, had been taken to a hospital after going into cardiac arrest at his home in California, TMZ reported. But while TMZ had also reported that the singer was unresponsive and had been taken off life support, it never reported that he was dead.” 2
CBS would later announce they had received their info from the LAPD who weren’t in a “position to confirm information about the singer.” 3