Born on Oct. 20, 1950 in Gainesville, Florida, the music legend, whose full name is Thomas Earl Petty, is best known as the lead singer of the legendary rock group, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
Together, the band rose to fame in the late '70s and '80s and were on the forefront of the heartland rock movement -- characterized by a straightforward music style with elements of synthpop, classic rock sound and lyrics relating to blue collar issues -- along with artists like Bruce Springsteen, Bob Seger and John Mellencamp. Some of their most popular songs include "Breakdown," "American Girl," "Refugee," "Mary Jane's Last Dance" and "Learning to Fly."
Petty is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, and has sold more than 80 million records worldwide. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.