Rock Hall on Petty’s passing: ‘We’re celebrating what he left us’

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CLEVELAND, Ohio - A week after Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers wrapped up their world tour at the Hollywood Bowl in California, the 66-year-old Rock Hall inductee has passed away.

Petty suffered a massive heart attack and was found unresponsive Monday inside of his Malibu home.

Word of his condition devastated many at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.

President and CEO Greg Harris says they’re all thinking of Tom's loved ones right now.

"His songs resonated," Harris said. "They really were about all of us."

"These are always sad moments. But thankfully these people made great music and Tom Petty's music will live on forever here at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame," Harris said. "We're celebrating what he left us."

"Tom Petty's music spoke to you directly. But the amazing thing is, it spoke to us when we were in high school and it speaks to my kids that are in high school now. It crosses all generations. Just a wonderful musician... a wonderful songwriter and a very part of the fabric of America," he said.

Petty was just in Cleveland this past June and put on a show at Quicken Loans Arena.

Harris says he’s always admired Petty’s ability to keep having fun after all these years, “Staying relevant making great music in the 70s, 80s, 90s and beyond.”

Fellow musician and Cleveland rocker Michael Stanley paid tribute to Petty on air at WNCX 98.5.

“He’s one of my favorite all time artists,” said Stanley. “People say if you couldn’t be in the band you were in what band would you choose, and I always say Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.”

Stanley says he also admires Petty for doing it on his own without a record label and shared one story about how Tom Petty took a label to court over a dollar.

“It had to do with raising the price of albums, they were gonna go up a dollar at the time and he said no for his fans,” said Stanely. ”And he took them to court and he won.”

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